There were five games involving BIG EAST teams on Thursday night, including the league's first conference matchup of the season as No. 1/1 Connecticut won at USF, 80-54. In nonconference action, the league went 3-1 to improve to 83-31 on the season with a win percentage of .728. There remain four undefeated BIG EAST teams.
Connecticut (7-0, 1-0 BIG EAST) pulled away from USF (5-4, 0-1 BIG EAST) to earn its 85th consecutive win. The Huskies jumped out to a 24-4 lead and held a 38-20 advantage at the half.
UConn freshman Stephanie Dolson led the offense with 16 points. UConn shot 51.9 percent in the first half and 52.1 percent for the game.
Senior Maya Moore scored 14 for UConn, moving within nine points of passing Tina Charles to become the Huskies' scoring leader. Moore has 2,338 points for her career.
Junior Andrea Smith led USF with 20 points. Her twin sister, Andrell, added 15 for the Bulls, who shot 26 percent (8-of-31) from the field in the opening half and 30.6 percent (19-of-62) for the game.
A total of 5,144 spectators were in the Sun Dome to watch the Huskies and the Bulls face off, which is the largest crowd the Bulls have seen all season. In addition, it was the second largest crowd to see a home USF women's basketball game in school history.
The remainder of the league gets a taste of conference play next week.
Senior Madina Ali's 20 points in 20 minutes helped No. 10/10 West Virginia (7-0) roll past Elon 90-51 at the WVU Coliseum.
With the win, the Mountaineers remain undefeated and extend their home-court win streak to 23 games, dating back to the 2008-09 season.
Ali's game-leading 20 points were a career-high. She also recorded her third double-double of the season as she grabbed 10 rebounds.
"I was afraid of this game coming off that (Paradise Jam) tournament and having played three straight nights," said WVU head coach Mike Carey. "I thought we'd be a little tired, but we started the first four minutes well. The first four minutes of the second half was good as well. I thought Madina Ali was our energy, again, from the beginning. I like the emotion and intensity Madina plays with--it's contagious."
Cincinnati suffered its first loss of the year following a 70-59 decision at Dayton. Freshman guard Kayla Cook led the Bearcats (5-1) with 15 points.
Cincinnati trailed by two at the 6:33 mark (54-52), but that was as close as the Bearcats would get. UC kept it close down the stretch and trailed by just four with three minutes to go, 61-57.
It was a night of cold-shooting for both teams, but Villanova (5-3) came out on top of a low-scoring game defeating Fairfield 30-29 at The Pavilion.
Villanova shot just 22-percent (11-of-50) from the field and was only 2-of-17 from 3-point range. Fairfield was 10-of-46 from the field and made just one 3-point shot in 15 attempts. The Wildcats entered the game averaging a league-leading 10.7 3-pointers a contest.
VU Sophomore Laura Sweeney notched her first double-double of the season recording a game-high 12 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.
The 30 points scored by Villanova tied the fewest the team has ever scored in a winning effort. The only other time the Wildcats won a game with as few as 30 points scored was in the second game of the team's varsity history when Villanova defeated Our Lady of Angels, 30-13 in 1969.
The scoring output for the Wildcats was their lowest since the team also scored 30 points in the first round of the NCAA Championship against Utah on March 22, 2009.
The last time Villanova allowed an opponent to score fewer than 29 points was in a 44-28 win over Penn last season on November 18, 2009. There have been only three games in the last 25 years that the Wildcats have held an opponent to fewer than 30 points, although all three have come since the 2007-08 season.
The combined point total of 59 points in tonight's game is the lowest in a Villanova game since 1972 when the Wildcats and Rosemont combined to score 51 points in a game that Rosemont won by a final score of 26-25.
VU held Fairfield to just nine points in the first half of last night's game. It matched the fewest points allowed in a half by the Wildcats since March 6, 2005 when Villanova allowed only nine first half points to Boston College in a 41-37 victory in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Championship.
Louisville (5-3) defeated Mississippi Valley State 96-37 at the KFC Yum! Center. Freshman Shoni Schimmel led the way for Louisville with 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds as the Cardinals had five players finish in double figure scoring.
Freshman teammate Charmaine Tay led the team with a career-high 10 rebounds, along with a career-high six assists.
Louisville finished the game shooting 52.2 percent from the field, while Mississippi Valley State shot 27.5 percent. The Cardinals out rebounded the Lady Devilettes 37-27. Louisville's 96-point effort is the fourth outing this season of 90 or more points scored in a game and the fourth game the Cardinals have held an opponent under 50 points.