Friday March 15, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) -- Russ Smith scored 28 points in a bittersweet homecoming, leading No. 4 Louisville into the Big East tournament semifinals with a 74-55 victory over Villanova on Thursday night only hours after the death of his esteemed high school coach.

Smith and the defending champion Cardinals (27-5) harassed Villanova into 25 turnovers and advanced to play Notre Dame or Marquette in the late game Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

Luke Hancock added 12 points off the bench for second-seeded Louisville, which has won eight straight -- seven by at least 14 points. Peyton Siva, the tournament MVP last year, scored 10.

JayVaughn Pinkston had 21 points for the seventh-seeded Wildcats (20-13), confident they’ll receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament Sunday thanks to a string of high-profile wins against top-notch opponents this season. Mouphtaou Yarou added 13 points and 11 rebounds.

NO. 5 GEORGETOWN 62,

CINCINNATI 43

NEW YORK -- Conference player of the year Otto Porter Jr. scored 18 points as top-seeded Georgetown advanced to the Big East tournament semifinals by pulling away from Cincinnati.

Porter made all 11 of his free throws to offset a 3-for-9 performance from the field.

Markel Starks had 14 points and reserve D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera added 13, including a tiebreaking 3-pointer that sparked a game-turning run for the Hoyas (25-5).


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Georgetown, looking to land a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, squandered an early 16-point cushion and fell behind briefly in the second half before clamping down with its signature defense.

Cashmere Wright hit four 3-pointers and scored 14 points for ninth-seeded Cincinnati (22-11).

NO. 19 SYRACUSE 62,

NO. 17 PITTSBURGH 59

NEW YORK -- James Southerland had a second straight great effort from 3-point range and Michael Carter-Williams scored Syracuse’s last seven points as the 19th-ranked Orange held off Pittsburgh in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament.

Southerland had 20 points as he did in the second-round win over Seton Hall. The senior was 6 for 6 on 3s against Pittsburgh, a day after going 6 for 9 from beyond the arc against Seton Hall.

Carter-Williams had 11 points and seven assists for the fifth-seeded Orange (25-8), who will meet top-seeded Georgetown in the semifinals Friday night.

Lamar Patterson had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the fourth-seeded Panthers (24-8).

BIG TEN TOURNAMENT

NO. 6 MICHIGAN 83,

PENN ST. 66

CHICAGO -- Trey Burke scored 21 points to lead Michigan over Penn State in the first round of the Big Ten tournament, avenging a shocking loss to the Nittany Lions during the regular season.

Tim Hardaway Jr. and Nik Stauskas each added 15 points for the Wolverines (26-6), who will play fourth-seeded Wisconsin in the quarterfinals Friday. Freshman reserve Mitch McGary chipped in with 10 points and 11 rebounds, helping Michigan to a 28-15 advantage in second-chance points.

D.J. Newbill scored 20 points for Penn State (10-21), which faded after a fast start. Sasa Borovnjak scored 10 of his 15 points in the first half, and Ross Travis finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Nittany Lions.

BIG 12 TOURNAMENT

NO. 7 KANSAS 91,

TEXAS TECH 63

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Ben McLemore scored 24 points to lead Kansas to a rout of Texas Tech, setting up an intriguing date with Iowa State in the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament.

The regular-season co-champion, Kansas was pushed by Texas Tech in their meeting in Lubbock earlier this season, but used a big run early in the second half to put this one away early.

Dejan Kravic scored 20 points and Dusty Hannahs added 15 for the Red Raiders (11-20).