|G Peyton Siva scored 19 points as Louisville ended a four-game skid to rival Kentucky with an 80-77 win. (US Presswire)|
Big East scoreboard for Dec. 29
No. 4 Louisville 80, Kentucky 77: The Wildcats (8-4) were game, but a bad -- 11 of 23 -- was the difference. Louisville (12-1) was led by Russ Smith, Chane Behanan and Peyton Siva, who finished with 21, 20, and 19 points, respectively. The Cardinals snapped a four-game losing streak to Kentucky. Freshman Archie Goodwin led Kentucky with 22 points.
Loyola-Chicago 69, DePaul 61: The Ramblers (9-3) got 24 points from Cully Payne and snapped DePaul's seven-game winning streak. Christian Thomas added 12 points and 10 boards for Loyola-Chicago, which beat DePaul for the first time since 1989. The Blue Demons (9-4) were led by Brandon Young, who had 18 points. DePaul opens conference play Wednesday when Seton Hall visits.
Marquette 75, North Carolina Central 66: Todd Mayo had 12 points and six boards in just his second game back, and Junior Cadougan and Vander Blue had 16 points apiece to lead the Golden Eagles (9-3) past NCCU. The game was surprisingly close after a 10-2 run by the Eagles cut Marquette's lead to one midway through the second half, but they were never able to get any closer. Jeremy Ingram had 20 points for North Carolina Central (6-7).
No. 9 Syracuse 57, Alcorn State 36: Syracuse allowed a season low in points and field goals made (14) with a stifling defensive performance. The Braves (2-13) committed 25 turnovers, 16 by halftime when they trailed 32-16. Both teams shot 20 percent or worse from 3-point range on an ugly shooting night. A week after Orange coach Jim Boeheim said he needed stronger play from his post players, freshman C DaJuan Coleman turned in a solid effort with 8 points and 6 rebounds. F C.J. Fair led Syracuse (11-1) with 13, and G Trevor Cooney added 12. Alcorn State was led by G Marquiz Baker with 15.
UConn 61, Washington 53: Suffocating defense from UConn on Washington G C.J. Wilcox helped key an impressive eight-point win in Hartford. Wilcox, the Huskies' leading scorer (19.6 ppg), was just 1 of 11 from the floor for a season-low 3 points. It marked the first time Wilcox has been held under double figures this season. An 11-0 run by UConn midway through the first half gave it the lead for good. UConn punctuated the win with an alley-oop by C Enosch Wolf with 2:36 remaining. UConn (10-2) was led by G Omar Calhoun with 14 points. Washington (8-5) was led by G Scott Suggs with 15. Before the game, Ollie signed a five-year contract extension.
South Florida 61, George Mason 57: The Bulls withstood the loss of G Anthony Collins and a late Patriots rally for a key nonconference win. G Jawanza Poland forced two steals down the stretch and hit four free throws in the final seconds for the Bulls (8-3). Poland led USF with 16, and G Martino Brock added 14. George Mason (7-5) was led by G Sherrod Wright with 24. Collins suffered a neck injury after taking a knee to his head scrambling for a loose ball midway through the second half. He was taken to a local Tampa hospital for evaluation but had movement in his arms and legs, according to school officials.
Player of the day: Louisville F Behanan. The sophomore wasn't the leading scorer for the Cardinals, but he did provide a steadying influence in the post and had a few big baskets. Behanan finished with 20 points and seven boards, a solid outing against an NBA-sized Kentucky front line.
They said it: Kentucky PG Harrow on Louisville's stifling defense: "I've never played against a defensive team that's that rugged." The Wildcats had 14 turnovers and just 10 assists.
Inside the box score -- 3 numbers worth a second look
12-1 -- After taking its first lead of the game early in the second half against DePaul, Loyola-Chicago used a 12-1 run to pull away.
20 -- Marquette committed 20 turnovers against a North Carolina Central team with a losing record. That will certainly need shoring up before conference play.
26 -- DePaul's Cleveland Melvin had his streak of 26 consective games in double figures snapped Saturday. Melvin finished with just seven points.
Dec. 31 games
No. 8 Cincinnati at No. 24 Pittsburgh, 12:00 p.m. ET (ESPN 2)
Central Connecticut State at No. 9 Syracuse, 3:00 p.m. ET (ESPN U)
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Big East, follow bloggers Evan Hilbert and Matt Rybaltowski @CBSBigEast.