PHILADELPHIA – With the second half of conference play in full swing, Georgetown took a step in putting itself at the top of the standings logjam with a 76-67 win at Providence. Creighton was down two starters at Villanova, yet took the Wildcats to overtime before Villanova won 66-59.
In conference games this season, home teams are 28-22. Twenty-two of the 50 conference games played have been decided by six points or less or gone into overtime.
The Hoyas improved to 5-5 in league play and tied for third place with St. John’s after their win at Providence. All five Georgetown starters reached double figures led by freshman Josh LeBlanc who scored 17 points and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds. Jessie Govan and Mac McClung each added 13 points. Providence (13-10, 3-7) again was led by Alpha Diallo, who had 22 points and six rebounds, but no other Friar reached double figures.
With its victory over Creighton, Villanova became the first BIG EAST team to start 10-0 in league play since Connecticut was 11-0 in 1998-99. The Wildcats’ Phil Booth scored six of his 14 points in the extra period. Freshman Saddiq Bey helped with a collegiate-high 17 points. Creighton, which fell to 13-10 overall and 4-5 in the BIG EAST, had to play without freshman guard Marcus Zegarowski, who has a hand injury, and leading scorer Ty-Shon Alexander who suffered a knee injury in practice.
BIG EAST play resumes on Saturday with all 10 teams in action. The FOX broadcast network will televise the meeting between Villanova and Marquette in Milwaukee. The Wildcats are ranked 14th in the AP poll while the host Golden Eagles are 10th. Both teams are 19-4 overall. Marquette is in second place in the league with an 8-2 record.
Also on Saturday, CBS Sports Network has a pair of league games, Providence battles St. John’s at Madison Square Garden at noon and Seton Hall hosts Creighton at 8 p.m. Also at noon, Butler visits Georgetown on FSN. At 8 p.m., Xavier hosts DePaul on FS1.