New York, NY (Sports Network) - Otto Porter scored 18 points and grabbed six
rebounds, leading fifth-ranked Georgetown to a 62-43 victory over Cincinnati
in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden.
Markel Starks added 14 points and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera chipped in 13 for the
Hoyas (25-5), who shared the regular-season Big East title with Louisville and
Marquette but earned the tournament's top seed.
Porter, the Big East's Player of the Year, made only 3-of-9 shots from the
field, but canned each of his 11 free throws to lead Georgetown into the
semifinals. The Hoyas, who improved to 15-1 as the Big East's top seed, will
next face Syracuse in Friday's semifinal.
"A lot of teams are starting to key in on (Porter) more, and I think more of
the strategy for them is to try to stop him and kind of worry less about
the other guys on our team," said Smith-Rivera. "Guys like Nate (Lubick),
Markel, myself, we're starting to get going."
Cincinnati (22-11) reached the conference tournament final last year for the
first time since joining the Big East, falling to Louisville, and will now
have to await its NCAA Tournament fate. The Bearcats stumbled down the stretch
with a 3-6 mark in their final nine regular-season games before beating
Providence in the second round on Wednesday.
Cashmere Wright scored 14 points and JaQuon Parker added 12 for Cincinnati on
Thursday, as the Bearcats endured a couple of ugly scoring droughts against
the tough Georgetown defense. Sean Kilpatrick, the team's leading scorer at
17.3 points per game, made just 2-of-12 shots and finished with four points.
"Obviously, we struggled to score the basketball," said Cincinnati coach Mick
Cronin. "We just really struggled on offense. Obviously (Kilpatrick) didn't
have a great game for him."
Cincinnati battled back from a 16-point first-half deficit and had a 33-31
lead early in the second half on a basket by Wright. Georgetown followed with
an 11-2 run and held the advantage the rest of the way.
Smith-Rivera broke a 33-33 tie with a three and followed with another bucket
on the next Hoyas trip. A layup by Cincinnati's Chiekh Mbodj briefly
interrupted the surge, but baskets by Porter and Starks then gave Georgetown a
42-35 edge with 12 1/2 minutes remaining.
"I want to say the first three, four possessions of the second half, we looked
extremely flat," said Georgetown coach John Thompson III. "But then we turned
it up at the defense. We started getting stops, which then helped our
The Bearcats got only as close as five from there and the Hoyas were able to
expand their lead as Cincinnati converted only two baskets in the next nine
minutes. Two free throws from Porter made it 53-39 with 3 1/2 minutes to play.
Porter added six more from the stripe down the stretch to help seal it.
Cincinnati started the contest ice cold, making just 1-of-9 from the floor.
After Parker's three gave the Bearcats a 4-3 lead, the Hoyas responded with 21
of the next 25 points.
Jabil Trawick scored nine during the surge and back-to-back threes by Porter
and Smith-Rivera gave Georgetown a 24-8 cushion with 5 1/2 minutes left in the
The Bearcats, though, clawed back and trailed just 29-24 at the break, then
opened the second half with a 9-2 run to grab the lead.
Georgetown earned a 62-55 victory in the lone regular-season meeting with
Cincinnati and leads the all-time series, 8-5 ... The Hoyas are trying for
their first Big East tourney title since 2007 and their eighth overall crown,
which would snap a tie with Connecticut. The Huskies are ineligible for this
year's tournament ... Georgetown's only loss as the No. 1 seed came in the
2010 final against West Virginia ... Trawick finished with nine points.
Final Score: (19) Syracuse 62, (17) Pittsburgh 59
New York, NY (Sports Network) - James Southerland had another sensational
shooting performance and No. 19 Syracuse held on for a 62-59 decision to send
17th-ranked Pittsburgh home from the Big East Tournament for the last time.
After making 6-of-9 from long distance in their second-round win over Seton
Hall, Southerland converted all six of his 3-pointers en route to 20 points on
Thursday for the Orange (25-8), who will take on top-seeded Georgetown for the
third time this season in Friday's semifinal.
"Pittsburgh is a tremendous defensive team," said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim.
"We just had great ball movement. Got the open guys, and James just got -- he
got good looks, and he made them."
Michael Carter-Williams added clutch free throws down the stretch to tally 11
points with seven assists and recorded his third steal late in the game to
seal the victory for Syracuse, which received 13 and 12 points, respectively,
from C.J. Fair and Brandon Triche.
The Panthers (24-8), along with the Orange, are bolting for the Atlantic Coast
Conference at the start of the 2013-14 season and shot just 37.5 percent in
their Big East Tournament finale.
Lamar Peterson finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds, Tray Woodall scored 12
and both James Robinson and Talib Zanna had 10 points in defeat.
Syracuse, a 32 percent shooting team from 3-point range during the regular
season, shot at least 60 percent for the second consecutive day to pace its
offense -- drilling 12-of-19 shots from long distance -- however Pitt found
itself in good position late in the contest.
The Panthers had trailed by 13 at the break, but were within 58-55 with 1:15
remaining after Woodall capitalized on three-point play opportunity, which
Southerland caused by goaltending on his running jumper.
Fair missed at the other end for Syracuse and Zanna had a chance to tie the
game after drawing a foul on his putback, but he missed the free throw.
Carter-Williams then made a pair of free throws to increase the Orange's lead
to three, and after picking off a Robinson pass, he sank two more from the
stripe to put the contest out of reach.
Southerland buried his fourth and fifth triples in the final three minutes of
the first half to spark an 11-4 run, which sent the Orange into halftime with
a 40-27 lead.
"Simply put, our transition defense wasn't good in the first half, and that's
how he got open looks," said Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon. "When he got
matched up on different guys, our 5 was guarding him on the one play."
Woodall, however, made two from beyond the arc during a 9-3 push to get the
Panthers within four at the 8:39 mark and back-to-back scores from Patterson
and Zanna 4 1/2 minutes later had Pitt trailing 55-51.
Southerland set a Big East Tournament record with the most 3-pointers without
a miss ... Pittsburgh had won its last four contests coming into the
tournament ... The Panthers defeated Syracuse in their only regular season
matchup, but Southerland was serving a six-game suspension for an academic
issue and did not play ... Pittsburgh has dropped five of its last six
postseason games at Madison Square Garden since winning the Big East
Tournament in 2008.
The Sports Network