Men's Basketball Roundup - Dec. 30

Four teams opened BIG EAST play on Wednesday, as St. John's and Notre Dame both picked-up wins. Marquette dropped a nonconference game at No. 24/rv Vanderbilt. No. 15/15 Notre Dame (12-1, 1-0 BIG EAST) notched a 69-55 over No. 9/9 Georgetown (11-2, 0-1 BIG EAST) in the conference-opener for both teams on Wednesday night at Purcell Pavilion. Tim Abromaitis scored a team-high 20 points, connecting on 5-of-7 from 3-point range to help the Irish to the win. Notre Dame held Georgetown to just 4-of-22 from beyond the arc. The Hoyas entered the game as the fourth-best 3-point shooting team in the country. Abromaitis and guard Scott Martin sparked a 14-2 Notre Dame run in the second half to put the Irish up by 16 points with 11:51 to play. GU answered back with a 9-0 run, but could not get any closer. Austin Freeman was the lone Hoya in double figures, scoring a game-high 21 points. It was the first loss in a BIG EAST opener for the Hoyas under head coach John Thompson III in eight tries. St. John's (8-3, 1-0 BIG EAST) won its third-straight game with an 81-71 win over West Virginia. The Red Storm recorded the first road conference victory in the BIG EAST this season. It was the first home loss for the Mountaineers since Feb. 8 against Villanova. St. John's dominated the paint, outscoring WVU 40-6. Dwight Hardy led the way with 20 points while Justin Brownlee and D.J. Kennedy had 17 each. Kennedy notched his first double-double of the season, adding 11 rebounds to his 17 points. West Virginia shot just 30.3 percent in the first half while St. John's shot 50 percent. STJ led by as many as 14 points in the second half. For the Mountaineers, Kevin Jones scored a team-best 17 points. Darryl "Truck" Bryant had 14 points and Jonnie West and Casey Mitchell added 12 apiece. Marquette (9-4) was edged on the road against No. 24/rv Vanderbilt 77-76. The Commodores got a layup from Andre Walker with 4.1 seconds left to just slip past the Golden Eagles. Marquette guard Darius Johnson-Odom had a chance to win the game at the buzzer, but slipped driving to the basket and lost the ball. Johnson-Odom finished with 14 points while Jimmy Butler led the Golden Eagles with 15. Marquette pushed the Commodores right to the final buzzer in a hostile environment, as Vanderbilt has posted a 102-8 record in nonconference play at home under coach Kevin Stallings. Dwight Buycks, who had given MU the lead on a jumper with 19 seconds remaining, had 13 points in the game while Chris Otule added 12 points and Vander Blue had 10. Only one game is on the BIG EAST slate on Wednesday night, as No. 8/8 Villanova hosts No. 25/rv Temple at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 in the final Philadelphia Big 5 game.