NEWARK – (Staff Report from Official News Release) – Sixth-ranked Butler continued its outstanding defensive play in a 70-58 win at Providence Friday night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center and remained unbeaten in BIG EAST play.
The Bulldogs (15-1, 3-0) held the Friars (10-7, 3-1) to 31.7 shooting from the field. Butler opened the game with a 7-0 run and did not trail in the contest. Kamar Baldwin and Jordan Tucker each scored 17 points with Bryce Golden chipping in 14 points and nine rebounds. Alpha Diallo led PC with 21 points and six rebounds. The loss ended the Friars’ four-game winning streak.
The other eight BIG EAST teams are in action Saturday afternoon.
The Prudential Center hosts a marquee matchup with Marquette (11-4, 1-2) meeting Seton Hall (11-4, 3-0) at 4 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. The game will feature the league’s top two scorers, Marquette’s Markus Howard, who leads the nation with a 26.8 scoring average and Myles Powell, who is second in scoring in the BIG EAST at 21.4. The two have combined for 4,271 career points. Last year, the two teams split a pair of regular-season games before the Pirates prevailed 81-79 in the BIG EAST Tournament semifinals.
The BIG EAST day starts at noon with Georgetown meeting Villanova at Wells Fargo Center on FS1 and St. John’s hosting DePaul at Madison Square Garden on FSN.
Georgetown (11-5, 1-2) leads the all-time series with Villanova 44-40, but the Wildcats (11-3, 2-1) have won the last six matchups at home. Coach Jay Wright has 230 BIG EAST regular-season and tournament wins, which is fourth on the league’s all-time victories list. Legendary Hoya coach John Thompson is third with 231 wins. Current Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing is 1-3 against Villanova as a coach and was 7-3 against the Wildcats as a player (1981-85).
St. John’s (11-5, 0-3) and DePaul (12-3, 0-2) have combined to produce a 22-3 record against non-conference competition, but both squads are looking for their first BIG EAST wins. DePaul (12-3, 0-2) took both regular-season meetings last year, but St. John’s won an 82-74 decision in a BIG EAST Tournament First Round game.
Xavier hosts Creighton at 2 p.m. on FOX. Both teams are 12-4 overall and 1-2 in league play. These two squads also met in last year’s BIG EAST Tournament with the Musketeers knocking off the Bluejays 63-61 in the quarterfinals. Tyrique Jones and DePaul’s Paul Reed are the only BIG EAST players averaging a double-double. Jones owns averages of 13.6 points and 10.1 rebounds.
Home teams are 8-7 in league games going into Saturday.