It was just another night in the BIG EAST. Two games were decided by one point, one went into overtime and another was tied with three minutes to go.
Jonathan Mitchell converted on a 4-point play with 0.8 seconds remaining to lift Rutgers (13-11, 4-8) to an incredible 77-76 win over No. 9/10 Villanova. Mitchell finished with a career-high 25 points to go with six rebounds. The Scarlet Knights trailed by 10 with 2:52 remaining, but two Villanova turnovers and a pair of 3s by James Beatty and Mitchell helped RU go on an 8-0 run and close within two. Villanova then got a pair of free throws from James Bell to end the run and put the Wildcats up 72-68. Mitchell responded on the other end of the floor with a tip-in, but Bell looked to clinch the game with a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left to go and put VU ahead by five.
Beatty, who finished with 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting from 3-point range, hit a 3 with 7.2 seconds left to bring the Scarlet Knights with two at 75-73. Villanova’s Corey Fisher then hit 1-of-2 from the free-throw line, opening the door for Rutgers. Mitchell hit a 3 from the wing while getting hit on the elbow, and converted on the foul shot to give Rutgers the win. Fisher led Villanova (19-5, 7-4) with 23 points and dished out 10 assists to record his first career double-double.
After remaining tied at the end of regulation, No. 8/7 Notre Dame (20-4, 9-3) outscored No. 16/15 Louisville 15-5 to claim an 89-79 win at Purcell Pavilion. Five of the last nine meetings between the two squads have been decided in overtime. Forward Carleton Scott scored nine of his 16 points in overtime, while guard Ben Hansbrough had a team-high 25 points and forward Tim Abromaitis added 23 to keep Notre Dame perfect at home this season.
Louisville (18-6, 7-4) had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, but guard Preston Knowles came up short on a contest jump shot to send the game to overtime. Knowles finished with 13 points in his return to the starting lineup for the Cardinals, while guard Kyle Kuric finished with a career-high 28 points. Notre Dame scored the first 14 points of overtime to put the game away.
Forward Jae Crowder made two big 3-pointers down the stretch and Marquette (15-9, 6-5) overcame a 16-point second-half deficit to rally for a 59-58 victory over USF. Crowder finished a 26-9 run with a long 3-pointer that gave the Golden Eagles their first lead since the opening minutes of the game, then made another to make it 59-55 with 1:28 remaining. USF (8-17, 2-10) shot 68.4 percent in taking a 31-24 halftime lead. The Bulls built the advantage to 44-28 before being outscored 31-14 over the final 14 minutes.
USF trailed by three when Toarlyn Fitzpatrick went to the foul line with 1.1 seconds to go, hoping to make the first and intentionally miss the second to give USF a chance to tie the score. The sophomore wound up making both, when he banked in the second shot instead of clanking it off the rim. Fitzpatrick finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
No. 11/11 Georgetown used a 12-1 run over the last four minutes of the game to get past No. 13/12 Syracuse 64-55 at the Carrier Dome. It was the first win for the Hoyas at the Carrier Dome under head coach John Thompson III. The loss was the third-straight at home for the Orange (20-5, 7-5), marking just the third time that has happened in coach Jim Boeheim’s 35 years at SU.
CJ Fair’s layup with 6:35 left was the final field goal of the game for Syracuse (20-5, 7-5), as the Orange went 0-for-7 down the stretch. Georgetown tied the game at 55 with 3:50 remaining on a 3-pointer by Hollis Thompson, and then took the lead for good on an Austin Freeman layup. Freeman finished with a team-high 14 points. Julian Vaughn and Jason Clark had 12 each for the Hoyas. Kris Joseph led the Orange with 14 points.
Thursday night has one game as No. 9/10 Connecticut faces-off with St. John’s at Madison Square Garden. The game will be televised on ESPN at 7 p.m. Eastern.