PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Though quite a few Providence fans rushed the court after the Friars beat No. 13 Connecticut 85-76 on Thursday night, there wasn't much celebrating among the players.
The Friars kept alive their chances of qualifying for the Big East tournament with their second win of the season over the Huskies, who had clinched a first-round bye and were trying to finish second.
"Everybody's playing for something different," Providence coach Tim Welsh said. "You can't get too happy because you can get very sad very quickly in this league."
Weyinmi Efejuku scored 25 and Jeff Xavier added 21 for the Friars, who are tied with DePaul for the 12th and final playoff spot in the 16-team conference. Providence closes its regular season at home against Villanova on Saturday; DePaul is at Pittsburgh on Sunday. Providence holds the tiebreakers.
DePaul 60, Cincinnati 54: Draelon Burns scored 24, and the Blue Demons ended a 16-year losing streak at Cincinnati. DePaul had gone 0-15 at Cincinnati since a 71-69 victory on Feb. 20, 1992. The Bearcats led 48-45 with 8:29 left, then had one point over the next seven minutes while DePaul built a seven-point lead.
Georgia Tech 80, No. 24 Clemson 75: Zack Peacock hit four straight free throws in the final 16 seconds for the host Yellow Jackets. The Tigers' Terrence Oglesby missed a 26-footer with 22.5 seconds left that would have tied it at 76.
St. Joseph's 71, No. 8 Xavier 66: Pat Calathes scored 17 and the host Hawks closed Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse with one more upset win. Saint Joseph's will play next season at the Palestra while the antiquated fieldhouse undergoes sorely needed renovations, including new locker rooms and 1,000 more seats.
No. 17 Mich. St. 59, Illinois 51: Senior guard Drew Neitzel overcame a slow start to score 17 and lead the visiting Spartans.
LONG BEACH ST. SANCTIONS: The NCAA imposed stiff penalties on Long Beach State, including some self-imposed by the university. Penalties include three years' probation, forfeiting 18 victories from 2005-06, reduced recruiting and fewer scholarships. Among problems cited by the NCAA: improper benefits, improper transportation and phone contacts and unethical conduct by members of the coaching staff.