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Big East Day One: Evening session

(10) Notre Dame 61 (15) Rutgers 50:  The Fighting Irish did what Cincinnati and Georgetown couldn’t which was getting a first round victory to keep their slim chances of a berth in the NCAA Tournament alive.  Led by 12 points from Tony Jackson, Notre Dame was able to overcame a poor offensive night to get the victory.

Although Rutgers played a gritty game to hang close, the story of the night was the struggles by Notre Dame.  All-Big East First Team member Luke Harangody finished with just seven points on 3-17 shooting.  It was the first time Harangody was unable to score at least 14 points in a conference game this season.  Kyle McAlarney, the team’s second leading scorer, finished the game with just 11 points.

The win sets up a rematch between Notre Dame and West Virginia.  In their only prior meeting this season, West Virginia beat Notre Dame 79-68 in Morgantown.

(11) Seton Hall 68 (14) South Florida 54:  In their first ever trip to the Big East Tournament, the USF Bulls played a strong first half but eventually fell victim to Seton Hall and their star guard Jeremy Hazell.

After trailing 32-30 at halftime, the Pirates turned things around and outscored the Bulls 38-22 in the final 20 minutes.  Hazell, the conference’s second leading scorer, led the way with 23 points on 9-13 shooting.  Eugene Harvey also looked impressive as he finished the evening with 16 points and six assists.

The win means that Seton Hall will now be taking on Syracuse in the second round of the Big East Tournament.  The two teams last met in their Big East opener when Syracuse hosted Seton Hall and beat them 100-76.

Two special blog announcements:  First off, this is our 50th post of the blog, so woohoo!  This is a lot bigger than I expected it would be at this point in time, so thank you to all the readers.

Second, Amanda Doyle will be a contributing writer during the Big East and NCAA tournaments. Look for her posts tomorrow night.

-David Cassilo

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