College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, February 16, 2011
As tournament time approaches, teams and individual players are bent on winning key games and making statements in hope that the selection committee will award them with a comfortable seeding, preferably a six or better and close to home.
Kemba Walker and the Connecticut Huskies did just that Wednesday night, stopping Georgetown's winning streak at eight straight with a 78-70 win at the XL Center in Hartford.
Walker, who had been leading the NCAA in scoring back in November and December, was looking for his shot first against the Hoyas, though he did manage to record a double-double with 31 points and 10 assists, ripping through the Georgetown defense like a fine-tuned coping saw.
The senior point guard was 13-for-23 from the field, 4-for-8 from the foul line and added seven rebounds in one of his best efforts of the season. Sophomore forward Jamal Coombs-McDaniel, recently promoted to starting forward, added 23 points after scoring a career high 25 in Georgetown's win over Providence Sunday.
The win pushed Connecticut further into the mid-level morass in the Big East. The Huskies are now 8-5 in conference play, tied for 4th place with St. John's, Villanova and Louisville. The Hoyas are just a half game ahead, in third place, at 9-5, trailing 10-3 Notre Dame and 12-1 Pittsburgh.
NOTABLE: Cincinnati improved to 20-6 and 7-6 in conference with a determined 63-54 home win over Louisville, giving the Bearcats a quality win and reason to believe they'll be going to the Big Dance along with 8 or 9 other Big East teams. Near the top of the Top 25, Texas, Pitt, Duke and San Deigo St., respectively ranked 3, 4, 5, and 6, all won over unranked opposition. #11 Pudue upended #10 Wisconsin, and #18 Vanderbilt, #24 Xavier and #25 Utah State were all winners.