BIG EAST teams went 4-0 on Thursday, headlined by No. 9/9 Connecticut's 67-53 victory over No. 24/25 Harvard and West Virginia's 85-80 double-overtime win at Kansas State.
Guard Jeremy Lamb had 18 points as forward Andre Drummond added 12 in the win for Connecticut. The Huskies used a 9-0 run to go up 28-19 with 6:44 left in the first half, but Harvard closed the half on a 9-2 run to get within 30-28. Connecticut opened the second half on a 9-2 run to re-establish a nine point lead. The run extended to 17-3 as the Huskies made seven of their first eight shots in the second half and a jumper in the lane by Lamb made it 74-13 with 12:18 left to play. Connecticut returns to action against Holy Cross on Dec. 18 at 1 p.m.
Forward Kevin jones hit a tying baseline 3-pointer to force overtime and had 30 points and 12 rebounds in West Virginia's 85-80 double-overtime victory over Kansas State. Guard Darryl Bryant had 25 points for the Mountaineers while forward Deniz Kilicli added 12 points. The game had 17 ties and nine lead changes. Jones hit a baby hook in the post with 26.6 seconds left that gave Bob Huggins a win against his former team.
Forward LaDontae Henton scored 21 points as Providence defeated Boston College 64-57. Guard Vincent Council added 17 points and eight assists for the Friars while guard Gerard Coleman had 12 points to give Ed Cooley his 100th career coaching win. On the final play of the first half, Henton had a put-back to give the Friars a 30-26 lead. The Friars maintained a slim lead for most of the second half, and BC was down only 56-53 with three minutes left. With just over a minute remaining, Henton got the ball in the post, missed a shot, got his own rebound and then muscled a second try over defenders to give PC a comfortable seven-point lead. Providence hosts Bryant on Dec. 10 at noon.
Forward Jack Cooley scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half to help Notre Dame defeat Maine 87-78. Guard Eric Atkins led the Fighting Irish with 26 points and six assists. Cooley had 14 rebounds. In a back-and-forth game, Maine held a 64-63 lead with nine minutes remaining, but the Irish used a 14-6 run over the game's final 4:56 to seal the victory.
Friday is the first day since Nov. 10 that no BIG EAST teams have games. On Saturday, 12 teams are in action with four games televised on ESPN2. Cincinnati travels to face cross-town rival Xavier at 12:30 p.m. Pittsburgh faces Oklahoma State at 2:30 p.m. as part of the MSG Holliday Classic. Villanova travels to face rival Temple at 5 p.m. while West Virginia hosts Miami at 7 p.m.