BIG EAST WBB Roundup - Sunday, Jan. 29
There were 14 BIG EAST teams in action on Saturday over seven conference games. All four ranked teams in action won, while a pair of games were close contests decided by four points or less.
No. 2/2 Notre Dame (21-1, 8-0 BIG EAST) knocked off St. John's (13-8, 5-3 BIG EAST) 71-56 at Carnesecca Arena in Queens, N.Y.
Devereaux Peters had 18 points, 15 rebounds, five blocks and four steals. Last Monday, Peters had a career-high 16 rebounds in the Irish's 28-point blowout of No. 7/9 Tennessee.
Skylar Diggins led the Irish with 24 points.
Notre Dame dominated the glass, outrebounding St. John's 49-29--including a whopping 26-8 advantage in the first half.
Despite Saturday's performance, St. John's has been playing well over the last month. The Red Storm had won six of their previous seven games since getting everyone healthy, including victories over then-No. 7/7 Rutgers and then-No. 14/16 Louisville.
"I like where our team is right now," St. John's coach Kim Barnes Arico said. "To come back here and not quit. We could have come out and it really could have gotten ugly. They showed that they are a really good basketball team."
Trailing 43-23 at the half, the Red Storm tried to battle back. They started the second half with a 13-4 run to cut the deficit to 11, but Diggins calmly restored order for the Irish -- scoring eight of the next 10 points to seal the win.
"I feel like we played the best team in the country," Barnes Arico said. "They have a lot of weapons, are extremely well coached, really a great team."
Da'Shena Stevens and Shenneika Smith each scored 10 points to lead St. John's.
In Hartford, No. 3/3 Connecticut (19-2, 8-1 BIG EAST) beat USF (12-10, 4-4 BIG EAST) 77-62 at the XL Center.
Hayes followed up Wednesday's 35-point game against Syracuse with 33 points and 10 rebounds to lead UConn in its 97th consecutive home win.
"I don't think there are 20 players in the country that I would rather have than Tiffany," said UConn coach Geno Auriemma. "If she played somewhere else, she'd be averaging 35 points every night."
Her 68 points are the most ever by a Husky in back-to-back games. It was her 10th consecutive game in double figures and 18th this season.
Stefanie Dolson tied a season high with 22 points and added 18 rebounds for UConn.
For the Bulls, Caitlin Rowe had a career-high 20 points and Inga Orekhova added 16.
"I really like this group," said Fernandez. "I think this group competes."
Connecticut has not lost at home since the finals of the 2007 BIG EAST Tournament, and has won 59 consecutive regular-season BIG EAST games at home.
In Louisville, Ky., Asia Taylor scored 12 of her season-high 14 points in the second half and No. 16/14 Louisville (17-4, 6-2 BIG EAST) held off Villanova (13-8, 3-5 BIG EAST) 62-58.
Shoni Schimmel scored 18 points and Bria Smith added 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Cardinals.
Louisville trailed 38-32 with 11:30 left before going on a 15-6 run to take a three-point lead. The Wildcats regained a 48-47 advantage on Devon Kane's two free throws with 4:18 left.
Taylor, who was starting for the first time in five games, put Louisville ahead for good with a jumper 20 seconds later. She then was fouled on the next possession and converted both free throws.
Louisville converted its final eight free throws to seal the victory.
Laura Sweeney had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Wildcats.
In upstate New York, Cincinnati (10-11, 1-7 BIG EAST) got its first league win of the year 55-54 over Syracuse (13-9, 2-6 BIG EAST). Senior guard Bjonee Reaves hit a jumper with five seconds remaining to give Cincinnati the win.
With the win, head coach Jamelle Elliott improved to 2-0 at the Carrier Dome.
"I can't say enough about my team," Elliott said. "I just told them in the locker room, there are a lot of teams in the country who get on a losing streak and their attitude changes and they feel sorry for themselves. I never felt that with my team. I knew that one of these games, we were going to come out on top if we stayed together and today it was a prime example of that. Everyone stepped up and gave us a chance to win."
Kayla Cook paced four Bearcats in double-figures with 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 4-of-8 from the 3-point range. Teammate Jeanise Randolph recorded a double-double with 11 points to go along with 13 rebounds.
Syracuse was led by Iasia Hemingway with 12 points and Kayla Alexander with 11 points. The Orange shot just 38-percent from the field and were 0-of-9 from 3-point range.
Providence (12-9, 4-4 BIG EAST) knocked off Pittsburgh (8-13, 0-8 BIG EAST) at home 66-50. Rachel Barnes recorded a team-best 15 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals for the Friars. Senior teammate Lola Wells hit double figures for the fourth time this season and eighth time during her career with 13 points.
Providence improved to 7-0 this season during games played on Saturday.
Pitt freshman Brianna Kiesel had a game-high 17 points, while sophomore Kyra Dunn registered her third career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
West Virginia (15-6, 5-3 BIG EAST) stifled Marquette (12-9, 3-5 BIG EAST) for a 53-32 win in Morgantown. Leading 27-18 at the intermission, the Mountaineers held Marquette to just 14 second-half points and three field goals.
Marquette was 0-of-10 from 3-point range and became the first BIG EAST team WVU has held without a 3-pointer since Syracuse was 0-of-12 in 2004 at the Coliseum.
WVU's Asya Bussie had seven blocked shots, the most from any player under head coach Mike Carey, and the most in a single game by any WVU player since 1986 when Georgeann Wells had eight on three occasions during the season against Massachusetts, Saint Joseph's and Rutgers.
Christal Caldwell led the team in scoring as she put up 20 points, her ninth consecutive game in double figures.
Marquette's scoring was led by Katherine Plouffe with nine points, while Chelsie Butler and Sarina Simmons each contributed eight points.
No. 23/22 DePaul (16-6, 4-4 BIG EAST) won at Seton Hall (7-15, 0-8 BIG EAST) 71-59. Four DePaul players scored in double figures, led by Anna Martin's 18 points and Jasmine Penny's 19 points.
Katherine Harry added 13 points and 13 rebounds, while freshman guard Brittany Hrynko hit two long 3-pointers late and also finished with 13 points. The Blue Demons snapped a three-game losing streak.
"This is a good group of players," DePaul coach Doug Bruno said. "What DePaul does is usually beat the teams it's supposed to beat and then take a few shots at some people we're not supposed to beat. We really think we should be sitting here now at 19-3. We think we've given some away. But Seton Hall was a game we had to win, because we are looking at (No. 14) Louisville on Tuesday and (No. 2) Notre Dame the following Sunday."
Seton Hall's Terry Green scored 18 of her career-high 21 points in the second half for the Pirates.
"With each game, I think I said three games ago, we're right on the cusp," said Seton Hall assistant coach Catherine Proto, who filled in for Anne Donovan at the post-game news conference with the coach feeling ill. "We just need to step over the line. I think once we do, good things will happen with this team. We're 38 minutes, 36 minutes. We need to play the whole 40 minutes and we'll definitely get over that hump."
Green was the difference for the Pirates in the second half. She hit all seven of 3-pointers in the game, with six coming on the second half. The seven 3-pointers tied a school record set by Debbie Hartnett against Hofstra on Dec. 7, 1988. She also is just the second BIG EAST player to shoot a perfect 7-for-7 from long range in a game, joining Alicia Ratay of Notre Dame, who did it against Rutgers on Feb. 19, 2000.
There is one league game on Sunday as No. 11/12 Rutgers takes on No. 20/18 Georgetown in our nation's capital. The game will be nationally televised at 1:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
Material from interviews, school websites, the Associated Press wire service as well as league and team sources was used in this report.