College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Cincinnati's junior guard, Jaquon Parker, is a tough guy to figure. A lean and lanky 6'3", he's either a tallish guard or a smallish forward, but whatever the case, the Marquette five couldn't manufacture a means to keep him away from the tin as Parker scored a career high 28 points, leading the Bearcats to a 72-61 upset win over the 8th-ranked Golden Eagles.
Parker, who scored just six points in a road loss to South Florida on Sunday and none in 14 minutes last week in a win over Louisville, was in his element Wednesday, hitting 10 of 18 shots, including 2 of 4 from outside the arc and 6 of 8 from the foul line, adding seven rebounds and a pair of assists in 35 minutes, the second most minutes he's played all season.
The Bearcats opened an early lead and were never seriously challenged after a late first half spurt put them up 42-26 at the break.
Cincinnati has won four of their last five in a late-season surge, upping the record to 20-9 and a respectable 11-6 in Big East play. With only Villanova left on the regular season schedule (March 3), the Bearcats appear to be peaking at the right time, as the Big East tournament begins next week.
NOTABLE: #6 North Carolina won their fifth straight, an 88-64 road thrashing of Maryland, setting up Saturday night's rematch at Duke which will determine the ACC regular season champion. The two long-standing rivals are tied atop the conference standings at 13-3.
The Terrapins couldn't handle the Tar Heel big men. John Henson tallied 19 points to go with 9 rebounds, while Tyler Zeller was putting up 30, making 20 of 23 free throws.
#10 Ohio State survived a scare at Northwestern, winning 75-73, keeping their hopes alive for a share of the Big Ten championship when they travel to Michigan State on Sunday.
#23 Temple maintained its one-game lead over St. Louis in the A-10. The 12-3 Owls can wrap up the regular season title with a win Saturday at 3-12 Fordham.
South Florida kept its tournament hopes alive with a nifty, 58-51, road win over #19 Louisville. Likewise, Colorado State improved its chances of dancing into the tournament with a 66-59 home win over #17 UNLV.
#7 Missouri topped Iowa State, 78-72. Michael Dixon paced all scorers with 21 points.