Men's Basketball Roundup - Jan. 17

Sunday afternoon featured five BIG EAST teams in action, including a pair of conference matchups. USF grabbed its first conference win of the season by defeating Providence, while St. John's got revenge against Notre Dame, beating the Irish at home. West Virginia rounded out the day with an upset of No. 8/8 Purdue in a nationally televised affair on CBS.
West Virginia (12-4, 3-2 BIG EAST) earned a 68-64 upset win over No. 8/8 Purdue on Sunday. Kevin Jones scored nine of his 17 points during a late 18-6 run that helped West Virginia hold off the Boilermakers. The Mountaineers got a complete team effort, including double-figures scoring from John Flowers, Truck Bryant and Joe Mazzulla, as WVU shot 14-of-27 from the floor in the second half. West Virginia trailed by six with 14:16 remaining before outscoring Purdue 22-10 over the next 11 minutes of the game to claim a 60-54 lead. Jones scored nine points in that stretch, while Casey Mitchell added a three-point play and Deniz Kilicli hit a baseline hook shot to cap the run. It was the fourth-straight win for the Mountaineers.
USF (7-12, 1-5 BIG EAST) used a strong second half to pick-up its first conference victory of the season, beating visiting Providence (11-8, 0-6 BIG EAST) 79-72. Hugh Robertson had 17 points to lead the Bulls while Augustus Gilchrist scored all 10 of his points in the second half to help USF finish a 17-point comeback. Jarrid Famous recorded a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Marshon Brooks scored 28 points for the Friars, who lost their 17th-straight BIG EAST contest.
PC led 38-21 with 1:41 left in the first half and by 12 at the half, but a dunk by Gilchrist with just under 12 minutes to play capped a 29-11 surge by the Bulls to give the squad a 50-49 lead. PC led twice more, the last time at 54-52. Kadeem Batts posted his first career double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds, but the Friars lost their sixth-straight contest, all in BIG EAST play.
St. John's (11-5, 4-2 BIG EAST) earned a split of the season series with Notre Dame (14-4, 3-3 BIG EAST), as the Red Storm defeated the Fighting Irish 72-54 at Madison Square Garden. STJ fell to Notre Dame just eight days ago, but flipped the script on Sunday. The Red Storm played stellar defense in the first 20 minutes, holding ND to a school record-low four field goals in the first half. D.J. Kennedy and Malik Boothe each scored 14 points to lead the Red Storm. Notre Dame got 18 points from Ben Hansbrough, as the Irish got within six with 13:18 remaining after the senior's breakaway dunk. But Kennedy responded with his only 3-point field goal of the game to extend the Red Storm lead to nine. STJ put Notre Dame away with a 10-2 run, lead by 19 with 6:28 remaining. The win gave St. John's two victories over ranked teams in one season for the first time since 2005-06.
The BIG EAST celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a pair of top 10 matchups in the season premier of Big Monday on ESPN. The day gets started with an afternoon matchup between No. 7/7 Villanova and No. 10/9 Connecticut at 3:30 p.m. No. 4/4 Syracuse then visits No. 5/5 Pittsburgh at 7:30 p.m.