No. 6 Notre Dame advances with 69-61 win over Rutgers in Big East Tournament
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org March 13, 2013 10:58PM
Notre Dame's Cameron Biedscheid (1) drives past Rutgers' Dane Miller (2) and Mike Poole, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big East Conference tournament, Wednesday, March 13, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Big East Tournament At New York
Seton Hall 46, S. Florida 42 (OT)
Rutgers 76, DePaul 57
Cincinnati 61, Providence 44
Syracuse 75, Seton Hall 63
Villanova 66, St. John’s 53
Notre Dame 69, Rutgers 61
G’town vs. Cincinnati, 11 a.m.
Pitt vs. Syracuse, 1:30 p.m.
Louisville vs. Villanova, 6 p.m.
Marquette vs. ND, 8:30 p.m.
Georgetown-Cincinnati winner vs. Pittsburgh-Syracuse winner, 6 p.m.
vs. Marquette-Notre Dame
winner, 8:30 p.m.
Semifinal winners, 7:30 p.m.
Updated: March 14, 2013 12:21AM
NEW YORK — Two historic Catholic rivals from the Midwest will face each other for the last time as conference partners in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament Thursday at Madison Square Garden.
After that, Notre Dame, which is heading to the Atlantic Coast Conference, and Marquette, which is heading to the ‘‘new’’ Big East, will have to schedule each other — as they did for years in their heydays as independents.
For now, the third-seeded Golden Eagles will be favorites against the sixth-seeded Fighting Irish (24-8), who advanced after defeating Rutgers 69-61 in a second-round game Wednesday.
‘‘The big thought is they thumped us early that last time we faced them,’’ Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. ‘‘We did not get off to a very good start, and it came down to defending their bigs. Their bigs beat us up. We have to do a better job establishing our post presence offensively and defensively against Marquette.’’
The Irish might need another big game from three-point range, something they used effectively against Rutgers. Notre Dame was 10-for-17 on three-pointers, with sophomore Pat Connaughton going 6-for-8. He led all scorers with 21 points and made several big shots to stop runs by the Scarlet Knights (15-16).
‘‘He has a great stroke, and we need him to be aggressive with it,’’ Brey said. ‘‘He’s such a gamer. I think this catapults him a little. I think we’re a better shooting team than we’ve shown, and I’d love to see this jump-start us a little.’’
Rutgers pulled within five points three times in the second half, but Connaughton helped the Irish stay out of harm’s way.
‘‘It was something I needed to work on, getting to the open spots and moving without the ball and making it easier for the guards to find me,’’ he said.
Notre Dame held the Scarlet Knights, who shot 61 percent in a first-round victory Tuesday against DePaul, to 42 percent shooting and blocked off their inside game. Rutgers scored 50 points in the paint against the Blue Demons but only 28 against the Irish. Forward Wally Judge, who was 9-for-9 from the field against DePaul, was only 1-for-6 against Notre Dame.
Irish senior Tom Knight added 18 points and nine rebounds. The Scarlet Knights were led by Myles Mack and Austin Jackson, each of whom scored 18 points.
‘‘We expect to hang out a bit,’’ said Brey, whose team has reached the semifinals of the tournament in each of the last three seasons. ‘‘We love New York City, and it’s better than South Bend right now.’’