BIG EAST teams were 3-1 Monday night as USF, West Virginia and Notre Dame scored homecourt wins, while Marquette dropped its first game of the year.
The best win of the night came in Tampa, Fla., as USF received a boost from the return of guard Jawanza Poland to knock off a 10-win Cleveland State squad at the St. Pete Times Forum. Poland, who had not played in a game this season while recovering from a back injury, came off the bench to score a team-high 13 points in 27 minutes, helping the Bulls pull away from a four-point halftime lead. USF (7-5) shot 65 percent from the field in the final 20 minutes and outscored the Vikings at the free throw line by a 19-4 margin for the game.
West Virginia improved to 8-2 with a solid 72-53 win against Tennessee Tech at the West Virginia Coliseum as part of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic. Forward Kevin Jones proved to be too much for the visitors as he finished with 25 points and 14 rebounds to turn in his sixth double-double of the year. The Mountaineers held the Golden Eagles to 34-percent shooting from the field and just 1-of-15 efficiency from 3-point range.
Notre Dame was playing at home Monday night, which normally signals an Irish win. The Irish didn't disappoint the Purcell Pavilion crowd with a 106-65 decision against Sacred Heart, extending Notre Dame's homecourt winning streak to 27 games.Forward Jack Cooley led the way with 19 points and eight rebounds as the Irish shot 61 percent from the field and 53 percent from 3-point range to run away with it. Notre Dame (8-5) scored 58 second-half points and matched the most points by a BIG EAST team this season with its 106-point evening.
Marquette, which moved to No. 10 in both national polls Monday, was off to a strong start on the road against LSU as the Golden Eagles scored the first 13 points of the game. But the Tigers used a 26-10 stretch to close the first half and held off the Golden Eagles in the second half to take a 69-59 win in Baton Rouge, La. Marquette (10-1) was paced by forward Jae Crowder, who had 22 points and nine rebounds, but it wasn't enough to offset the Tigers' hot second-half shooting (62 percent).
Tuesday's ledger list four more BIG EAST teams in action, including a doubleheader on ESPNU that will showcase two unbeaten teams. Top-ranked Syracuse takes on Patriot League favorite Bucknell at 7 p.m. ET, while No. 4/4 Louisville hosts the 9-1 College of Charleston at 9.
Providence looks for its 10th win of the season as the Friars host New Hampshire at 7 p.m., while Pittsburgh goes for its 11th win as the Panthers entertain Saint Francis (Pa.). Pitt is 28-0 all-time against Saint Francis and is 69-0 all-time against teams from the Northeast Conference.