John Paquette, Associate Comissioner Sports Media Relations
BIG EAST teams continued to roll along in non-conference play on Wednesday, winning all four contests to lift the league’s non-conference record to 66-19 (.776).
DePaul was the only team with a road assignment and the Blue Demons knocked off Drake 74-71 to lengthen their winning streak to four games. Billy Garrett, Jr. led with 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field. Freshman Eli Cain and Tommy Hamilton IV each scored 13 points. Cain had six rebounds and three steals while Hamilton IV had nine boards.
One of the storylines going into the Providence-Boston College game was that several BC players were suffering from food poisoning. But the No. 15/18 Friars would have issues as well. Kris Dunn missed the second half due to illness. Freshman starter Ryan Fazekas missed the entire game also because of illness. And to top it off, Ben Bentil turned an ankle in the first half and did not return. Still, PC gained a 66-51 victory. Rodney Bullock stepped up to score 17 points and grab seven rebounds. Bentil still had 16 points and eight rebounds in 16 minutes.
Creighton ended a two-game skid with a comfortable 83-67 win over in-state rival Nebraska. Isaiah Zierden finished with 17 points, six rebounds and three steals. Geoffrey Groselle added 15 points. The Bluejays never trailed in front of a sellout crowd of 17,766 at the CenturyLink Center.
St. John’s sold out Carnesecca Arena for its game against Niagara and Red Storm defended their way to a 48-44 win over the Purple Eagles. St. John’s held Niagara to 25.0 percent shooting from the floor, the lowest percentage this season by a BIG EAST opponent. The Red Storm have held all four Carnesecca Arena foes to less than 60 points. Offensively, Federico Mussini scored 11 points and Christian Jones added 10.
Seton Hall is the only BIG EAST team in action on Thursday. The Pirates (6-2) host Troy at 8 p.m. on FS1. The game is the first of a four-game homestand for the Hall.