WBB Roundup - Busy Tuesday With 12 Teams In Action

There were six BIG EAST women's basketball games on Tuesday night and home teams went 5-1, while three league players surpassed the 1,000-point plateau. No. RV/23 St. John's (16-6, 5-4 BIG EAST) led the parade with a 51-48 victory over Rutgers (12-9, 5-3 BIG EAST) at Carnesecca Arena that was televised on CBS College Sports. With nine seconds on the game clock, St. John's sophomore guard Nadirah McKenith drove through and over two Rutgers defenders in the paint to give St. John's a lead, 49-48. With 2.2 seconds left in the game, Rutgers' Erica Wheeler went to the free throw line for a chance to give Rutgers the possible game-winning lead. Wheeler missed the first free throw as the ball bounced off the rim. Wheelers' next shot hit nothing but net and it seemed as though the Red Storm and Scarlet Knights would take their regional-rivalry to overtime. However, as the shot went off, Rutgers' April Sykes took her steps toward the basket a second too fast as she was called for a lane violation and Wheeler's game-tying basket no longer counted. St. John's escaped with the win. The first half of the game told an entirely different story as St. John's led 25-15 at halftime, holding Rutgers to a season-low scoring effort for the opening stanza. The Red Storm led by as many as 14 in the contest. Sophomore guard Amanda Burakoski had a career-night against Rutgers as she proved to be the spark off the bench, setting career highs in points (16), 3-pointers (four) and field goals (five). "This was definitely our biggest game," said Burakoski. "We've had a bunch of tough losses, but we knew we had to pull it together for this one. At the end, everybody was nervous, but we're a team and we knew that we had to pull through to get this win. If it was by 10 or if it was by one, you get the win." The win was the second-straight victory over Rutgers for St. John's head coach Kim Barnes Arico and just the fifth-ever in 36 meetings between the two teams. Other action around the conference saw No. 8/8 Notre Dame outlast No. RV/25 Syracuse 71-48 at Purcell Pavilion. The Irish (19-4, 8-1 BIG EAST) are 8-1 in league play for the second consecutive year after starting last year 10-1. Junior Becca Bruszewski became the 27th player in Notre Dame to score 1,000 points and senior Devereaux Peters had 15 points and 11 rebounds. "What a great day it was for Becca," Irish coach Muffet McGraw said. "It was great that she was able to get it right away." Syracuse coach Quentin Hillsman was frustrated the entire night with his team's performance, but recognized that any road game in the BIG EAST is a challenge. "Notre Dame is a great basketball team," Hillsman said. "We knew coming in here it would be a tough game." The Irish dominated in the paint, outscoring the Orange (16-5, 4-4) 36-16 inside. Notre Dame also outrebounded Syracuse 44-34. "That's something that normally doesn't happen to us," Hillsman said. "Our posts are really playing well," McGraw said. "I'm just really thrilled with the way they're playing. They're doing everything." Syracuse struggled offensively all night, shooting 25.5 percent from the field and turning the ball over 24 times. From behind the arc, the Orange were 2-of-14. Elashier Hall, Syracuse's leading scorer on the season, was held scoreless on 0 for 3 from the field. Sophomore center Kayla Alexander led the Orange with 19 points and five rebounds. In Morgantown, W.Va., three Mountaineers recorded scoring figures in double-digits as No. 14/15 West Virginia defeated Providence 59-45 at the WVU Coliseum. The Mountaineers (20-3, 6-3 BIG EAST) ended a two-game losing streak with the win and extended the home court win streak at the Coliseum to 31 straight. Senior Liz Repella led all players in scoring with 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting, including three treys. "I thought we did what we had to do to win," WVU head coach Mike Carey said. "We were still a step slow and I thought we would be because of playing Sunday. I thought Madina (Ali) came out and played with energy and (Asya) Bussie came out and did a better job with foul shots, but we looked tired at times." The Friars (9-11, 2-6 BIG EAST) came out in the first half sinking 5-of-8 3-pointers (62.5%) to keep up with the Mountaineers, but WVU held the lead for the entire game as it limited Providence to just one 3-point shot in the second half. Senior Mi-Khida Hankins led the Friars' scoring efforts with 11 points, including 5-of-6 from the free throw line. Down in the Bluegrass State, sophomore Sugar Rodgers scored 26 points to lead No. 17/19 Georgetown past Louisville 76-52 at the KFC Yum! Center. Monica McNutt added 16 points and Tia Magee had eight points and 12 rebounds as the Hoyas (18-5, 6-3 BIG EAST) won their fourth straight ending Louisville's 10-game home winning streak. "We really stepped up our pressure on defense and forced turnovers (in the second half)," said Georgetown head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. "Forcing turnovers gave us a better chance to score offensively." Monique Reid led the Cardinals (14-9, 5-4 BIG EAST) with 12 points and Shoni Schimmel added 11, but Louisville struggled to hold onto the ball. The Cardinals turned it over a season-high 30 times, leading to 34 Georgetown points. Louisville controlled the first half and led 35-21 early in the second half before the Hoyas came to life, ripping off a 24-2 run to take command. Rodgers led the way, scoring 13 straight points for Georgetown during one sequence to go over 1,000 points in her career. The Hoyas wore bright pink shoes as part of a "pink out" promotion and dazzled in the second half, outscoring the Cardinals 57-22. In Milwaukee, No. 23/24 Marquette held off Villanova 62-57 and celebrated its return to the top-25 national rankings with a victory. The Golden Eagles (18-4, 6-3 BIG EAST) entered the polls this week for the first time since the end of the 2006-07 season. Freshman Katherine Plouffe had 15 points and eight rebounds as Marquette went on an 11-0 run,straddling halftime to take control, beating snowed-in Villanova. The game moved up two hours because of the weather. Milwaukee is under a blizzard warning until Wednesday afternoon and shortly before the start of the game, Villanova learned its charter flight back to Philadelphia would be canceled until conditions improved. Villanova hung tough under associate head coach Joe Mullaney after trailing by as many as seven points early in the second half. Laura Sweeney made two free throws and Rachel Roberts made a jumper to tie it at 48 with 4:07 left. Mullaney was filling in for 33-year veteran coach Harry Perretta, who had the flu, but the Wildcats could never take the lead in the second half after being up by as many as seven in the first. Marquette's 11-0 run turned a six-point deficit into a 32-27 lead just over a minute in the second half, holding on from there despite the repeated runs by the Wildcats. "It wasn't so much of what they did as what we didn't do," Scanlon said. "We lost the momentum." Marquette has surpassed its win totals from the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, when its had 17 wins a year. Pittsburgh (10-11, 2-6 BIG EAST) also won at home as it beat Cincinnati (8-13, 1-8 BIG EAST) by the score of 79-48 at the Petersen Events Center. Pitt senior Jania Sims led the way with a game-high 24 points, including the 1,000th of her career. A 3-pointer by Sims at the 4:27 mark of the second half pushed the senior over the 1,000 point mark (1,002). She reached the mark in 99 career games and became the 17th player overall, the fifth under head coach Agnus Berenato and the second during the 2010-11 season to collect the career milestone. Senior Chelsea Cole recorded her league-leading 11th double-double of the season with a season-high 19 points and 14 rebounds. It also was Pitt's eighth straight win over Cincinnati. Junior Bjonee Reaves matched her career high with 22 points in her first career start. There are no league games on Wednesday, BIG EAST women's basketball action resumes on Saturday.