This is the 3rd annual Gavitt Tipoff Games, named in honor of the late Dave Gavitt, former athletic director at Providence College and the first commissioner of the Big East Conference. The games have done well by his name, an impressive showcase of competition and talent between the participating schools in the Big East Conference and the Big Ten Conference.
Three years, and this is the third straight year that the Gavitt Tipoff Games series has ended in a 4-4 tie, which must leave Big East and Big Ten fans wondering why there isn’t a decisive ninth game every year.
Neither Georgetown or Villanova was slated to participate this season.
The games & results
The third annual Gavitt Tipoff Games began Monday with the Providence losing 86-74 to No. 14 Minnesota. The Friars led 39-36 at halftime but were outscored 50-35 in the second half. Kyron Cartwright finished with 12 points and nine assists. Freshman Nate Watson also scored 12 points.
Purdue’s inside game was too much for the Marquette Golden Eagles to handle in an 86-71 win for the Boilermakers. Andrew Rowsey had 25 points and six assists and Markus Howard finished with 24 points.
Creighton won on the road, defeating No. 20 Northwestern 92-88. Khyri Thomas led the Blue Jays with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Martin Krampelj also added 17 points. The Bluejays shot 51.5 percent from the floor, including 8-of-16 from 3-point range. Creighton’s win was the first this season in college basketball by an unranked team over a ranked squad.
Seton Hall pulled away from Indiana in the second half, defeating the Hoosiers 84-68 at the Prudential Center. Desi Rodriguez scored a team-high 23 points and Angel Delgado recorded his 53rd career double-double, finishing with 19 points and 11 rebounds. The Pirates shot an outstanding 57.7 percent from the floor in the second half.
Despite a career-high 17 points from Sean McDermott, the Butler Bulldogs were unable to keep up with the Maryland Terrapins, losing on the road, 79-65. Kamar Baldwin also added 15 points for the Bulldogs. Butler’s offensive woes cost them dearly, only shooting 34.3 percent from the floor.
St. John’s moved to 3-0 with their 79-56 win over Nebraska at Carnesecca Arena. Shamorie Ponds was outstanding from start to finish for the Johnnies, finishing with 22 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Justin Simon collected his second double-double in a row, finishing with 13 points and 12 rebounds. St. John’s key to victory Thursday night was their swarming defense, holding Nebraska to only 28.1 percent shooting from the field.
The No. 15 Xavier Musketeers went on the road to Wisconsin and recorded an 80-70 win in front of a raucous crowd in Madison. The Musketeers (3-0) closed the game with a 16-4 run behind the efforts of veteran leaders Trevon Bluiett and J.P. Macura. Bluiett scored 21 of his 25 points in the second half and finished with nine rebounds. He currently leads the conference in scoring with 25.3 points per game. Macura was all over the court for the Musketeers, posting 20 points, eight rebounds, and four assists.
In the final 2017 Gavitt Tipoff Games battle, DePaul lost 82-73 at Illinois. Last night, reserve guard Justin Roberts had a team-high 19 points for the Blue Demons.