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Big East Day One: Afternoon session

(16) DePaul 67 (9) Cincinnati 57:  The first game of the Big East Tournament featured one of the biggest upsets in recent memory.  The DePaul Blue Demons, who finished the Big East regular season 0-18, were able to knock off Cincinnati.  The game is a crushing loss to the Bearcats, who were hoping to go on a run in New York to grab a bid to the NCAA Tournament.  

From the early moments, it became clear that DePaul was not going to go away.  Even when they trailed by seven points in the second half, and it looked as though the game was getting away from them, they continued to battle.  The Blue Demons eventually took control of the game midway through the second half en route to a victory.  Will Walker and the under the radar Dar Tucker sparked the victory with 17 points each.  The win by DePaul was the first for either team in the Big East Tournament.  My editor made a comical, but perhaps accurate, observation that DePaul is used to having no fans, so the small crowd bothered them less than it bothered Cincinnati.  

DePaul, who became the first 16-seed to win a game in any postseason tournament, now faces Providence tomorrow at noon.  Providence beat DePaul 62-54 in their only matchup this season on Jan. 3, in Providence.  Cincinnati can start making arrangements for the NIT after losing their final four games.

(13) St. John’s 64 (12) Georgetown 59:  A week ago, St. John’s beat Georgetown 59-56 and severely damaged the Hoyas NCAA Tournament hopes.  Today, with a 64-59, the Red Storm finished the job.

In what was a very physical game from the opening tip, both teams began to trade fouls as frequently as baskets.  This led to Georgetown’s leading score DaJaun Summers picking up three fouls in the first half.  The Red Storm took advantage and led a low scoring first half 30-28.

In the second half, the Red Storm took control at about the ten minute mark as they were able to slow down Georgetown with a very effective press.  Nevertheless, Georgetown still had a chance to tie the game with a 3-point shot at the end, but Nikita Mescheriakov missed the attempt badly.

The star for the Red Storm was Paris Horne, who finished with 23 points.  Sean Evans also had a very impressive game with 12 points, 14 rebounds and four steals.

Georgetown now will have to wait until the NIT selections to find out when they play next.  Meanwhile, the Red Storm will try to extend their season another day when they face Marquette tomorrow.  On Feb. 14, these two teams met in Marquette when the Golden Eagles won 73-59.  However, that was with Dominic James.  There should be a dramatic home court advantage for St. John’s which may be exactly what they need to pull an even more shocking upset.

-David Cassilo

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