No. 1 Syracuse claims Big East crown, 85-66
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Arinze Onuaku and Andy Rautins provided another memorable moment in Syracuse's storybook season.
The Orange's fifth-year seniors held aloft an unlikely prize last night — the Big East championship trophy — after Syracuse beat St. John's, 85-66, in its first game in two decades as the No. 1 team in the nation.
"It's a blessing. I've been here five years and it's the first time my mom's seen me play here," Onuaku said. "It's just special."
Onuaku finished with a season-high 21 points and had eight rebounds, and Rautins had 14 points and seven assists as Syracuse (28-2, 15-2) won the Big East title outright for only the second time (1990-91).
"I really couldn't think of a better way to go out," said Rautins, who was accompanied by his dad, Leo, a former Syracuse star, in pregame festivities on senior night. "We're not going to be satisfied just yet."
D.J. Kennedy led St. John's (15-14, 5-12) with 19 points, while Paris Horne had 18.
NO. 6 OHIO STATE 73, ILLINOIS 57
Jon Diebler hit seven 3-pointers for 21 points, leading the host Buckeyes (24-7, 14-4) past the Illini (18-12, 10-7) to clinch at least a share of the Big Ten title.
NO. 9 VILLANOVA 77, CINCINNATI 73
Scottie Reynolds scored all of his 17 points in the second half and the visiting Wildcats (24-5, 13-4 Big East) let most of their late 16-point lead slip away before holding on to beat the Bearcats (16-13, 7-10).
NO. 13 VANDERBILT 64, FLORIDA 60
Jermaine Beal scored 13 points, including two free throws with 6.2 seconds left, to help the visiting Commodores (23-6, 12-3 Southeastern Conference) beat the Gators (20-10, 9-6).
NO. 18 GONZAGA 78, CS BAKERSFIELD 59
Matt Bouldin scored 15 points and the host Zags (25-5), the West Coast Conference champions, closed their regular season with a non-conference rout of the Roadrunners (7-22).
NO. 21 BAYLOR 86, TEXAS TECH 68
Tweety Carter scored 18 points and the visiting Bears (23-6, 10-5 Big 12) rallied from an early 11-point deficit to beat the Red Raiders (16-13, 4-11).
NO. 24 UTEP 80, MARSHALL 76
Randy Culpepper scored 32 points and the visiting Miners (23-5, 14-1) beat the Thundering Herd (22-8, 10-5) to clinch their first outright Conference USA championship.
BYU-HAWAI'I 90, DOMINICAN 80
Lucas Alves scored 28 points, Virgil Buensuceso added 19, and Jet Chang had 13, helping the visiting Seasiders (17-5, 11-2 Pacific West Conference) hold off the Penguins (9-17, 6-9) at San Rafael, Calif. BYUH led 44-31 at halftime and the Penguins got no closer than eight points the rest of the way.
CHAMINADE 73, ACADEMY OF ARTS 39
Matt Cousins scored 20 points, Shane Hanson and Steven Bennett each added 12, and the visiting Silverswords (8-14, 5-8 PacWest) raced to a 29-16 halftime lead and never looked back in routing the Urban Knights (0-25, 0-15) at San Francisco.
NO. 15 TEXAS A&M 78, NO. 11 OKLAHOMA 55
Tanisha Smith scored 19 points, Danielle Adams added 18 and the host Aggies (21-7, 9-6 Big 12) raced to a 43-24 halftime lead in cruising past the Sooners (20-9, 10-5).
PACIFIC WEST (1-2)
DOMINICAN 74, BYU-HAWAI'I 58
Alisha Flaaten scored 15 points, Raquel Gomes had 12 and Melissa Wise 10, leading the host Penguins (3-12, 6-20 Pacific West Conference) over the Seasiders (5-8, 9-14) in a PacWest game at San Rafael, Calif. Richelle Fenenbock scored 13 to lead BYUH.
ACADEMY OF ART 71, CHAMINADE 49
The host Urban Knights (9-17, 5-10) cruised past the Silverswords (1-20, 0-12) at San Francisco. Details of the game were unavailable.