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If Tuesday night was just a tasting of the newly-baked Big East Conference men's basketball season then Wednesday night was a full serving, as four quality games were played and a few teams made an early-season statements. No. 1 Syracuse Orange, No. 9 Connecticut Huskies, No. 12 Georgetown Hoyas and West Virginia Mountaineers all earned victories in their league openers, and if you missed the games, well, you're in luck because here's a brief roundup of the action:
Syracuse crushes Seton Hall, 75-49 -- SB Nation New York recap
Georgetown 71, No. 4 Louisville Cardinals 68: The Hoyas' Markel Starks netted 16 of his collegiate-best 20 point in the second half, as the Cardinals lost their first game of the season Wednesday. Georgetown, which was picked to finish 10th in the conference in the preseason media polls, improved to 11-1 overall (1-0 Big East), while Louisville dropped to 12-1 (0-1).
UConn 60, South Florida Bulls 57: Sophomore guard Jeremy Lamb scored 16 of his game-best 23 points in the second half to help the Huskies (11-1, 1-0) sneak by host Bulls (7-7, 0-1). Legendary head coach Jim Calhoun did not travel with his squad, as he's currently serving a three-game suspension by the NCAA.
WVU 83, Villanova Wildcats 69: Senior guard Darryl Bryant scored the most point in the league, as he netted 34 points in the Mountaineers (10-3) rout of the Wildcats (7-6). WVU's Kevin Jones, who entered the contest leading the Big East in points and rebounds, tallied 13 points and collected seven rebounds.
On most nights a team would be in trouble if its leading scorer failed to tally a point, but that wasn't the case Wednesday for the No. 1-ranked men's basketball program, Syracuse University, which used a 12-point, 10-block, seven-rebound performance from sophomore center Fab Melo to rout visiting Seton Hall University, 75-49, in a Big East Conference game in front of 25,081 fans at the Carrier Dome.
Surprisingly, Syracuse's top scorer, senior forward Kris Joseph, missed all of his six shots from the floor, but the deep Orange squad (14-0) didn't need him, as sophomore guard Dion Waiters came off the bench to pace the Orange with 15 points, while junior guard Brandon Triche added 11 points. Sophomore forward C.J. Fair chipped in with nine points and eight rebounds.
"We got enough guys that if somebody has an off game, we got (other) guys," said Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim. "Kris couldn't get into a rhythm tonight. He did have four really good passes and couple really good steals defensively. That's all part of the game."
Senior point guard Jordan Theodore netted 10 of his team-best 14 points in the first half for Seton Hall (11-2), which was held to a dreadful shooting percent of 31.7-percent (19-of-60). The Pirates made just 5-of-27 (18.5-percent) from the floor in the first half, which ended with the Pirates trailing, 34-15.
"Defensively, we stole the game," said Boeheim who watched the Orange force 23 turnovers.
Senior forward Herb Pope, who entered the contest second in the Big East in scoring and rebounds, tallied just four points, collected nine rebounds and finished 2-for-9 from the floor. Meanwhile, sophomore guard Fuquan Edwin made none of his 11 shot attempts.
However, the postgame, water-cooler talk will surround Melo, who set a school record in blocks and tied a collegiate-best in total points.
"Night and day," Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard responded when asked about Melo's performance from last year to this year. "That staff deserves an unbelievable amount of credit. I think, Fab deserves an unbelievable amount of credit. That kid is a pleasure to watch on film."
"They kept coming right at him and he was there," said Boeheim, who continues to credit Melo's off-season conditioning program for his turnaround.
In the first half, SU jumped out to a quick 8-1 lead, as Seton Hall missed its first nine shots from the floor, including four 3-pointers. The Pirates first basket was made by Theodore, who used a put-back to cut Syracuse's margin to 8-3 just six minutes in.
Behind six points from Waiters, Syracuse slowly pushed its lead to 26-14 after Fair nailed a jumper with 4:19 to play. Then, Melo took over swatting away three shots, collecting two rebounds and two points in the final four minutes of the first half, which ended with SU ahead by 19 points.
"Syracuse is the real deal," said Willard. "They are the best team in the country by far and they kicked our a**."
SB Nation New York blogged live from press row at the Carrier Dome Wednesday night, as the Syracuse Orange defeated Big East rival the Seton Hall Pirates Be sure to check back for postgame quotes from both head coaches -- SU's Jim Boeheim and SHU's Kevin Willard. Visit SB Nation's Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician for more on Syracuse and South Orange Juice for everything Seton Hall. Follow us along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY.
Sophomore center Fab Melo has tallied six points and eight blocks to help the No. 1-ranked team in the country, Syracuse University, take a 34-15 halftime lead over Seton Hall University in a Big East Conference game at the Carrier Dome. The Orange (13-0), who are playing their first league contest of the season, are looking avenge a blowout loss to the Pirates (11-1) who defeated SU on its home floor last year, 90-68.
Senior point guard Jordan Theodore has tallied 10 points for Seton Hall, which began the game missing its first nine shots, including four from behind the 3-point arc, and trailed 8-1 in the game's first 4 1/2 minutes.
Seton Hall's first basket came on a put-back by Theodore, who cut the SU advantage to 8-3 just six minutes into the game. From there, behind six points from Waiters, Syracuse slowly pushed its lead to 26-14 after sophomore forward C.J. Fair nailed a jumper with 4:19 to play.
Then, Melo took over swatting away three shots, collecting two points and two points in the final four minutes.
Fair ended the half with four points, while junior guard Brandon Triche and sophomore guard Dion Waiters each chipped in with eight.
Statistically, Seton Hall finished the first half shooing just 5-for-27 from the floor (18.5-percent), while Syracuse made 14-of-37 shots (37.8-percent). The Orange ended the half with 10 blocks.
SB Nation New York is blogging live from press row at the Carrier Dome Wednesday night, as the Syracuse Orange host on Big East rival the Seton Hall Pirates Be sure to check back for a postgame recap and quotes from both head coaches -- SU's Jim Boeheim and SHU's Kevin Willard. Visit SB Nation's Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician for more on Syracuse and South Orange Juice for everything Seton Hall. Follow us along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY.
On Wednesday, the Seton Hall University men's basketball program begin Big East Conference play at Syracuse University (7 p.m. on SNY). SB Nation New York's Jared Smith was able to interview Pirates second-year head coach Kevin Willard on the upcoming match-up.
No. 1 Syracuse University and Seton Hall University -- battle each other in a Big East Conference showdown at the Carrier Dome Wednesday night (7 p.m. on SNY).