BIG EAST teams went 4-1 on Wednesday night and improved the league's nonconference record to 128-49 for a .723 winning percentage.
No. 17/17 Georgetown (10-2) held the nation's highest-scoring team (No. 7/7 Miami) to nearly half its average and 21-percent shooting in a 71-46 rout.
"We continually preach to them, if we play defense, we can win the game," said Georgetown head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. "It's one thing that we have control over, and that's playing defense."
Sugar Rodgers scored 24 points--including a trio of 3-pointers--to lead the Hoyas, who stifled the Hurricanes (9-2) from the start. Miami had averaged 87 points per game, and its worst offensive outing had been a 92-76 loss at Tennessee on Nov. 15.
"This was definitely our best defensive effort of the season by far, with as many good players as Miami has," Williams-Flournoy said.
The Hoyas led 34-21 at halftime after holding Miami to just one field goal in the last six minutes while going on an 11-5 run, and maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
"(Georgetown) smacked us in the face and we ran and called our moms and asked for help instead of turning to each other," Miami head coach Katie Meier said.
Tia Magee scored 13, Rubylee Wright added 10, and Sydney Wilson grabbed 12 rebounds for Georgetown, which snapped a seven-game losing streak to Miami, dating back to 2000.
Down in South Carolina, No. 2/2 Connecticut (10-1) rebounded from its first loss of the season to stifle the College of Charleston 72-24 in Charleston. The Huskies struggled to shoot, turned the ball over and generally expected a lot more after losing just their second regular season game in four years at No. 1 Baylor last Sunday.
"Come out of a big loss like that and that's how we react? That's not a good sign for us," junior guard Kelly Faris said.
The Cougars (2-8) made just seven of their 49 shots (14 percent), turned the ball over 24 times and went 19 minutes without a field goal. Charleston's 24 points were just four away from the best defensive effort ever by the Huskies.
But Connecticut's offense didn't look crisp. They shot just 44 percent, committed 14 turnovers and had their lowest scoring first half of the season with just 27 points.
"It's an ongoing process. Three days ago we were beating the No; 1 team in the county with four minutes left in the game," Huskies coach Geno Auriemma said. "Now we're trying to find out how we get 11 new players in here because none of them are motivated."
The Huskies were coming off a 66-61 loss to top-ranked Baylor on Sunday and now haven't lost back-to-back games since March 1993--a streak of 665 games that started two seasons before Auriemma won his first of seven national titles with the Huskies.
Auriemma agreed to come to the College of Charleston in part to spread the popularity of women's basketball. The game brought 3,868 people to TD Arena, more than tripling the previous best attendance for a Cougars women's game.
Elsewhere around the league, Pittsburgh (7-5) wrapped up a successful tournament with a 64-54 win over Michigan State in Cancun, Mexico. Three Pitt players scored in double figures, led by freshman Brianna Kiesel's 16 points. The rookie was 10-of-11 from the free throw line and scored 14 points in the second half.
"This is a huge, huge win," said Berenato. "The team really pushed through and showed tremendous perseverance, coming back from a double-digit deficit. It was awesome for this young team to win the Caribbean Classic, their first Classic crown."
Trailing 33-26 at the half, the Panthers erupted for 13-straight points over a 4:21 span to open the second stanza.
In addition, Marquette (8-5) beat Vermont 71-60 at home before a sellout crowd of 4,000 on Milwaukee Public Schools Day. In a rare weekday matinee, Marquette raced out to an 18-5 lead after a basket by Sarina Simmons forced Vermont's second timeout five minutes into the first half. Marquette led the Catamounts 35-33 at the half.
Katherine Plouffe was three assists away from a triple-double, finishing with 17 points, 12 rebounds and seven helpers. Freshman Apiew Ojulu finished with a game- and career high 25 points. She shot 6-of-10 from the field and 13-of-19 from the foul line, while combining with Plouffe to score 28 of the Golden Eagles' 36 points in the second half.
Marquette was able to do most of its damage on the glass with 17 offensive boards and owned a 24-5 margin on second-chance points. Sarina Simmons grabbed a team high eight defensive rebounds.
With the victory, head coach Terri Mitchell and Marquette improved to 7-0 this season at the Al McGuire Center.
Seton Hall (7-6) had the lone loss of the day, as they were beaten by William & Mary 61-54 at home. Tajay Ashmeade had 13 points and 21 rebounds, while Jasmine Crew scored 16. The Pirates shot just 31.9-percent from the field, including a 9-of-37 effort in the second half. SHU led 32-26 at the intermission, but was outscored 35-22 over the final 20 minutes.
Material from interviews, school websites, the Associated Press wire service as well as league and team sources was used in this report.