Around the Big East: Week 12

Story posted February 11, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Austin Groft

It’s the week everyone has been waiting for. The two top teams in the Big East will finally battle it out this Saturday. No. 19 Creighton will head on the road to take on No. 5 Villanova. This game will be a great preview of who truly owns the Big East this year.

The Bluejays are coming off an impressive defensive stand against Georgetown, holding the Hoyas to just 48 points. Creighton loves shooting the ball from beyond the arc but did not do it efficiently at 24%. If the Bluejays want to beat Villanova, they’ll have to increase this percentage.

On the other side, the Wildcats beat Marquette with ease, winning 96-64. This just goes to show how dominant Villanova can be. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl led the way, scoring 27 points for the Wildcats. Villanova also shot 59% from 3 as a team. Villanova’s attitude toughness keeps getting better as the season progresses.

Marquette suffered again from not having Justin Lewis available off the bench. Only Dawson Garcia showed up to play, recording a career-high 28 points. This lack of depth for the Golden Eagles has caused them to struggle mightily.

The Golden Eagles’ starters are left playing the majority of the game, which makes them lose their energy in the second half. Their bench combined for a total of three points against Villanova. Without Lewis, they have no one who can produce from the second rotation.

St. John’s six-game win streak finally came to a close after the Red Storm lost in an overtime thriller against Butler on Tuesday night. Butler looks like a better team now with Aaron Thompson being fully healthy. Bryce Nze recorded a double-double for the Bulldogs and has been playing the best basketball of his career.

Julian Champagnie shot poorly from the 3-point range at 28.6%. Before this game, he was shooting 44% from long—almost the best in the Big East. This game goes to show that teams can not take a night off in this conference.

Ed Cooley was able to compose his team, giving Providence its first win since the start of a three-game losing streak, upsetting UConn 70-59. David Duke and Nate Watson each had 17 points.

UConn was yet again without star guard James Bouknight, who is projected to be a lottery pick in this year’s NBA draft. Bouknight will most likely play in the Huskies’ next game against Xavier.

Xavier has been dealing with several postponements throughout January and is now on a seven-day break after having to postpone its game against DePaul. The Musketeers will play their first game in 10 days against UConn this Saturday. Paul Scruggs is one of the best players in the nation, but no one is talking about him. He’s shooting almost 50% from the field while averaging six assists per game.

Saturday’s slate of games features four solid games in the Big East and will prove to be essential predictors of who will take the conference crown in 2021.

 

Austin Groft is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email him at atg5271@psu.edu.