The BIG EAST-SEC Challenge got underway Thursday with each league claiming two wins on the first day of the three-day, 12-game event.
Georgetown came away with the most exciting win of the night for BIG EAST teams as the Hoyas knocked off No. 12 Alabama, 57-55, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Forward Hollis Thompson hit a 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds left to rally Georgetown from a one-point deficit to its second win against a top-25 opponent this season. Guard Jason Clark had a game-high 22 points, while the Hoyas held the Crimson Tide to just 16 points in the first half.
Providence had slightly less drama in a solid 76-67 win at South Carolina as the Friars improved to 2-0 in true road games this year. Forward LaDontae Henton and guard Gerard Coleman had 18 points each to lead five Friars in double figures. Providence takes a 6-2 record into Monday's game against Brown at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.
DePaul had erased a 17-point second-half deficit against Mississippi at Allstate Arena, but the Blue Demons were undone at the free throw line in the final seconds, allowing the Rebels to escape with a 70-68 win. Guard Brandon Young scored 18 points for DePaul, while forward Cleveland Melvin turned in 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Blue Demons fell to 6-2, with the two losses coming by a combined three points.
St. John's received double-doubles from forward God'sgift Achiuwa and guard Moe Harkless, but it wasn't enough to keep pace with top-ranked Kentucky, which took an 81-59 win at Rupp Arena. The Wildcats set a school record with 18 blocks, causing the Red Storm to even their record at 4-4.
BIG EAST teams will host three of the four games in the BIG EAST-SEC Challenge Friday, including a pair of showdowns between top-25 teams on ESPN. No. 4/3 Syracuse hosts No. 10/9 Florida at 7 p.m. at the Carrier Dome, while No. 6/6 Louisville entertains No. 20/19 Vanderbilt at 9 at the KFC Yum! Center.
On ESPNU, Cincinnati visits Georgia at 7 p.m., while Seton Hall hosts Auburn at 9.