BIG EAST teams added eight more wins to their impressive totals Wednesday as the conference improved its nonleague record to 87-18 in 2010-11.
USF picked up the most impressive win of the night as the Bulls scored a 60-59 overtime win against Virginia Commonwealth at the Sun Dome. Guard Hugh Robinson scored a career-high 14 points, including the deciding basket in overtime, to lead four USF players in double figures. Forward Ron Anderson Jr. added 10 points and 13 rebounds for the Bulls, who improved to 5-3.
Pittsburgh led a group of three BIG EAST teams that kept their perfect records intact Wednesday. The Panthers were too strong for Duquesne in an 80-66 win at the Consol Energy Center as center Gary McGhee and forward Nasir Robinson finished with double-doubles. McGhee had 12 points and 13 rebounds, while Robinson came off the bench to score 14 points with 12 boards. The Panthers, who got a game-high 22 points from guard Ashton Gibbs, finished with a 56-35 rebounding advantage.
Cincinnati stands at 6-0 after the Bearcats got a game- and career-high 26 points off the bench from guard Sean Kilpatrick in a 77-69 win against Wright State. Kilpatrick led five Bearcat players in double figures to help Cincinnati to its best start since the 2004-05 season, when the Bearcats started the year with 11 straight wins.
Louisville had an easy time with Florida International, thanks to a season-high 18 points from guard Preston Knowles’ in the Cardinals’ 92-55 win at the KFC Yum! Center. Louisville opened the game with a 13-0 run and held a 33-point halftime lead after holding the Golden Panthers to 21-percent shooting in the first 20 minutes. Eleven players contributed to the Cardinals’ scoring.
Providence improved its record to 7-1 as the Friars erased a two-point halftime deficit to take a 77-72 win against Northeastern at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Forward Marshon Brooks had a game-high 27 points, but it was the inside play of forward Bilal Dixon (14 points, 12 rebounds, five blocks) that delivered the win for the Friars. Providence finished with a 47-27 rebounding advantage.
West Virginia is 5-1 on the heels of a 71-50 win against American. Guard Casey Mitchell continues to have the hot hand for the Mountaineers after he had 27 points on 8-of-11 shooting against the Eagles. Forward Kevin Jones had 16 points to help the Mountaineers to the wire-to-wire win.
St. John’s lifted its record to 5-1 thanks to swingman D.J. Kennedy, who scored 20 points off the bench in a 69-61 win against Wagner at Carnesecca Arena. The Red Storm converted 21 Wagner turnovers to 21 points and had a 22-13 advantage at the free throw line in their fifth straight win.
Rutgers was paced by freshman forward Gilvydas Biruta in the Scarlet Knights’ 66-54 win against NJIT at the Rutgers Athletic Center. Biruta scored a game- and career-high20 points, while forward Jonathan Mitchell had 13 points and 11 rebounds for Rutgers, which never trailed in improving to 4-2.
Only one game dots the Thursday-night BIG EAST schedule. DePaul looks for its second win of the season when the Blue Demons host Northern Illinois at 8:30 p.m. Eastern.