Georgetown’s Otto Porter Jr. goes up as Cincinnati’s Cashmere Wright (1) looks on during the first half of Big East Conference quarterfinal game Thursday in New York.
NEW YORK — Otto Porter Jr. scored 18 points and fifth-ranked Georgetown advanced to the Big East tournament semifinals by pulling away from Cincinnati for a 62-43 victory Thursday.
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 top-seeded Hoyas (25-5).
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.
Georgetown, looking for its first title since 2007, improved to 15-1 as the top seed in the Big East tournament. The only loss came against West Virginia in the 2010 championship game.
Porter, the Big East Player of the Year, made all 11 of his free throws — most of them in the final minutes — to offset a 3-for-9 performance from the field.
Cashmere Wright hit 4 3-pointers and scored 14 points for ninth-seeded Cincinnati (22-11).
NO. 4 LOUISVILLE 74, VILLANOVA 55
NEW YORK — 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. 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.
The Jayhawks (27-5) shot 66 percent from the field (31 of 47), the best mark by any team in a Big 12 tournament game, advancing to face the Cyclones on Friday night. Kansas needed overtime to beat them in both of their regular-season games.
Dejan Kravic scored 20 points and Dusty Hannahs added 15 for the Red Raiders (11-20).
NO. 21 UCLA 80, ARIZONA ST. 75
LAS VEGAS — Shabazz Muhammad scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half, Travis Wear hit a jumper with 11 seconds left and UCLA rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat Arizona State in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament.
Muhammad scored 10 points during a 17-4 second-half run and Wear hit a long jumper to put the Bruins up 78-75 before Arizona State’s Jonathan Gilling missed a 3-point attempt from the corner.
Larry Drew II had 20 points and Wear finished with 15 to send the Bruins (24-8) into the semifinals against No. 18 Arizona or Colorado on Friday night.
Jahii Carson had 21 points, seven assists and six rebounds for No. 9 seed Arizona State (21-12).MORE IN Sports WireTHE ASSOCIATED PRESS
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