CHICAGO – (Special to Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – In the only BIG EAST action on Monday, DePaul pushed its winning streak to five games with an 83-59 victory against Alabama A&M at Wintrust Arena. The Blue Demons (6-4) got out of the gate quickly, taking a 16-5 lead and gaining a 48-22 edge by halftime. Max Strus led a balanced scoring attack with 14 points. Tre’Darius McCallum added 13 points. The five-game winning streak is the longest since a seven-game run early in the 2012-13 season.
Strus leads the Blue Demons in scoring with a 15.3 average. He is the top scorer among newcomers in the BIG EAST.
In the national polls released on Monday, Villanova jumped from No. 4 to No. 1 in the Associated Press and USA Today Polls. It’s the third straight season the Wildcats have spent time at No. 1. Xavier is No. 10 in the AP poll and ninth in USA Today. Seton Hall is ranked 15th in both polls. Creighton is 25th in USA Today and the first team among those receiving votes in the AP. Georgetown is receiving votes in USA Today.
This week is the lightest of the season for BIG EAST teams. The only game tonight has Seton Hall hosting Saint Peter’s on campus at Walsh Gymnasium. FS1 has the game at 7 p.m. ET. On Wednesday, Villanova plays at Temple at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
BIG EAST teams have been on a hot streak of late. League squads have won 38 of the last 43 games overall (.884). For the season, the BIG EAST non-conference record is 78-18 (.813), the best mark since 1988-89 (113-23, .831).