It's still early in the college basketball season, but for now the Big East owns bragging rights over the Atlantic Coast Conference.
No. 5 Georgetown beat No. 7 Duke 79-74 Wednesday to give the Big East an insurmountable 5-1 lead in the eight-game ACC-Big East Challenge. The Hoyas' victory followed St. John's 73-72 overtime triumph over Georgia Tech in the opener of the doubleheader.The final two games of the annual series will be held tonight in North Carolina.
Most of the coaches involved in the ACC-Big East Challenge would prefer to see such tension-filled games held later in the season. But after his 17th-ranked Redmen handed No. 20 Georgia Tech its second straight loss, coach Louie Carnesecca had second thoughts.
"I thought this ballgame should have been played at a later date, but I'm glad I got it in now so it's already in the sack," Carnesecca said.
Malik Sealy, who scored 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for St. John's (4-0), said the early-season matchup against such a high-caliber team would serve the Redmen well.
"It's a good early test," he claimed. "We're going to have games like this down the road, and playing in one now can't do anything but help. It's a great confidence builder."
Georgetown, like St. John's, held on to win after holding a comfortable second-half lead. The Hoyas led by 16 with 8:01 left before the Blue Devils (5-2) rallied to 75-74 on two foul shots by Brian Davis.
Georgetown got 22 points and 10 rebounds from Alonzo Mourning and 14 points and 13 rebounds from Dikembe Mutombo, who left the game in the second half with a severe cramp. They also teamed to block six shots in the win.
"They just make you think about what you're doing when you take the ball to the basket," Krzyzewski said.
No. 2 Arizona 100, N. Arizona 64
Brian Williams scored 16 of his 22 points in the first half and finished with six blocked shots to lead Arizona.
The Wildcats (7-0) had a tough time early against Northern Arizona (0-4), but Arizona scored the last nine points of the first half for a 41-25 lead.
No. 3 Arkansas 114, Louisiana Tech 97
Todd Day scored seven of his 23 points in the final seconds of the first half as Arkansas pulled away from previously unbeaten Louisiana Tech.
Oliver Miller, held to two points in the first half, scored 18 in the second as the Razorbacks (6-1) cruised in the final 20 minutes. Their biggest lead was 25 points on two occasions.
No. 8 UCLA 123, St. Mary's 93
Tracy Murray scored 24 points as the Bruins beat St. Mary's for their first 5-0 start since the 1982-83 season.
Don MacLean added 20 points, Gerald Madkins 16 and Shon Tarver 15 for the Bruins.
No. 24 Temple 76, St. Bonaventure 52
Mark Macon scored 18 of his 25 points in the first half as Temple beat St. Bonaventure for the 16th straight time.
Included in Macon's first-half total were three 3-point baskets, helping the Owls (1-0 in the Atlantic 10 Conference and 2-1 overall) to a 35-24 halftime lead. Temple, which has a 21-1 record against St. Bonaventure, lost to the Bonnies only during the 1982-83 season.