Orange Weather Storm, Advance To Semis
New York, NY (WIBX)- Syracuse freshmen Fab Melo finally stepped up when his team needed him the most. Melo, who has had limited playing time all season due to unproductivity, finally had the game fans have been waiting for. Melo played a season high 22 minutes, and made 2 huge layups in the last 2 minutes to give Syracuse the win over St. John’s 79-73. Syracuse was led by Brandon Triche’s 22 points, Kris Joseph chipped in with 14 and Fab Melo went 5 from 5 from the field to finish with 12 points. Syracuse outscored St. John’s by 11 in the second half, thanks in part to their superior defense, which finished the game with 13 steals and 10 blocked shots. St. John’s has only lost three times all season in the Garden, two of them coming from Syracuse. St. John’s was led in scoring by Dwight Hardy who finished with 22 points and Justin Brownlee added 15 as well. The win sends Syracuse into the Big East Semifinals to face UCONN Friday night at 7pm.
UCONN’s Kemba Walker has simply been outstanding during the Big East Tournament. After averaging 27 points in his first 2 games during the Big East Tournament, the potential NCAA player of the year had his best showing, when his team needed him the most, facing #1 seed Pitt in the quarterfinals. With score tied at 74 and 6 seconds left on the clock, Walker held the ball for the last shot, shook past Gary McGhee and fired upa shot from the top of the key as time expired. Swish. Game over. It’s games like this that make the Big East Tournament exactly what it is, pure excitement. Walker led UCONN with 24 points and Jeremy Lamb contributed 17. Pitt was led by Ashton Gibbs who scored 27 points and Brad Wanamaker had 17. #9 seed UCONN will now face # 4 seed Syracuse in the semifinals Friday night at 7pm. The last time these two teams faced off in the Tournament, it was a 6 overtime thriller with Syracuse winning 127-117. This is the 5th time in the last 7 years UCONN and Syracuse will play each other in the Big East Tournament with Syracuse winning the last 4 games.
Notre Dame continued their recent dominating play defeating Cincinatti 89-51. This was Notre Dame’s 12th win in their last 13 games with their last three wins coming by an average of 30 points. Notre Dame was led by Ben Hansbrough’s 23 points and Dion Dixon was Cincinatti’s leading scorer with 15 points. #2 seed Notre Dame will face #3 seed Louisville in the semifinals Friday night at 9pm. #3 seed Louisville easily handled #11 seed Marquette in the final game of the night, 81-56. Louisville is also on a hot streak winning 5 out of their last 6 games and should prove to be a great matchup against Notre Dame. Louisville was led by Mike Marra’s 22 points off the bench while Marquette’s leading scorer was Jimmy Butler with 14.