If last night was the first Friday night you'd spent in in a while, we don't blame you. Then again, if you went out, you didn't miss much around the Big East.
After the initial adrenaline rush wore off from having college hoops back, reality made its way back into the picture. If it were not for their location being in their name, folks more than likely would not have known where the schools who played the Big East last night where located. It was a clean sweep--a 6-0 opening night for a conference brimming with potential.
You've already read about Chris Obekpa and the Red Storm taking care of their business at home against NJIT, but what about the rest of the boys in the conference?
#12 Villanova def. Lehigh, 77-66: Early in the season, many top teams are playing as many as 10-11 players in order to figure out who should crack the starting rotation. In ‘Nova's case, only seven players played more than five minutes.
The score may appear deceptively close, but that's due to the fact that it seemed Villanova could not throw the ball into the ocean from three. Darrun Hilliard II and Ryan Arcidiacono were a combined 2-for-16 from three, as ‘Nova as a unit would shoot only 24 percent from deep, leading them to a tougher battle than anticipated against the Mountain Hawks in Allentown.
Xavier def. Northern Arizona, 93-60: Seemingly, Xavier could do no wrong last evening against the Lumberjacks. Collectively, they would shoot 67 percent from the floor, with their three leading scorers having incredibly efficient nights; Matt Stainbrook (18 points, 7-for-8), Trevon Blulett (18 points, 6-for-8), Jalen Reynolds (16 points, 8-for-9).
Creighton def. Central Arkansas, 104-77: Life beyond Doug McDermott began with his an appropriate 27-point drubbing, where the final result stretched north of the century mark.
Six players would reach double figures for the Jays, led by freshman guard Ricky Kreklow, who had 18 points in Creighton's runaway win.
Marquette def. UT-Martin, 79-63: Not often does the head coach overshadow a win, but for the Golden Eagles it was the first win of head coach Steve Wojciechowski's career. The former assistant of Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, "Wojo" now looks to craft out his own legacy.
One of the more intriguing players to watch in the conference this year will be point guard Matt Carlino, the transfer from BYU. He would finish with 11 points and seven assists in his debut as a member of the Big East.
DePaul def. UIC, 72-71: Inner-state rivals clashed to start the year, with DePaul hanging on by the skin of their teeth. They would lead by 16 at halftime, just to watch as the Flames battled nearly all the way back before ultimately falling just short. On a night where blowouts reigned supreme, the Blue Demons just barely got out of dodge.
As expected, those in the Big East took care of their business on Friday evening. Over a month and a half remains before the schools begin their schedule against one another, so stay tuned for all your Big East non-conference information.
The Red Storm's next game will take place on Monday evening November 17 at home against Franklin Pierce.