Updated BIG EAST Notes
Five league games were on the docket Tuesday night, including a doubleheader featuring ranked teams on the CBS Sports Network. No. 3/2 Connecticut (15-1, 3-1 BIG EAST) beat No. 15/13 Louisville (14-4, 2-2 BIG EAST) by the score of 72-58 at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. In addition, No. 2/3 Notre Dame (15-1, 4-0 BIG EAST) beat Georgetown (10-7, 1-3 BIG EAST) by the score of 79-64 in Indiana.
Georgetown-Notre Dame Highlights
In the UConn win, four players scored in double figures, including junior Bria Hartley who had 16 points. The guard showed no ill-effects of the sprained ankle she tweaked last Saturday against Marquette. While Hartley was able to play, UConn was missing freshman Breanna Stewart for the second straight game. The budding star sprained her left ankle in practice Friday. She did partake in pregame warmups, but didn't get into the game.
''I think she's come along a lot faster than we initially thought when she first got hurt,'' Auriemma said. ''She looks good. If it was an emergency she could have played tonight. I'm expecting her to be fully ready on Saturday.''
Junior Shoni Schimmel scored 14 points and classmate Antonita Slaughter added 13 to lead Louisville.
The Huskies host No. rv/23 Syracuse on Saturday at the XL Center. The Orange (15-1, 3-0 BIG EAST) had a high-scoring win over DePaul (13-5, 2-2 BIG EAST) on Tuesday. Syracuse (15-1, 3-0 BIG EAST) topped the Blue Demons 84-80 at the Carrier Dome.
Senior Kayla Alexander registered her seventh double-double the season with 24 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Orange. Senior teammate Elashier Hall tied her career-high with 23 points and led the team with five steals.
The game featured 13 lead changes, but the Orange were able to hold off the Blue Demons. The 15-1 start for the Orange ties the best start in program history with 2009-10 season when SU also started 15-1. Syracuse's 3-0 start in BIG EAST play ties the 1985-86 team for the best conference start in history.
Senior Katherine Harry became just the fifth DePaul player to grab 1,000 rebounds and the 28th to score 1,000 points as she had 14 boards and 10 points in the game. She has 1,001 points in her collegiate career and 1,005 rebounds along with 21 double doubles. Senior Anna Martin finished with 15 points shooting 4-of-13 from the field. DePaul tied a season-high with 13 3-pointers (on 34 attempts) but it was not enough.
In the Notre Dame win, the Fighting Irish held Georgetown senior Sugar Rodgers, the nation's leading scorer, to a season-low 14 points and scored 35 points from the free-throw line to overcome a season-high 28 turnovers for their 10th straight victory. Rodgers entered the game averaging 25.3 ppg.
Offensively for the Irish, Junior Kayla McBride scored 17 points, senior Skylar Diggins had 15 points, nine assists and six steals and freshman Jewel Loyd added 14 and defended Rodgers for most of the game. Junior Natalie Achonwa added 12 points and 10 rebounds for league-leading ninth double-double of the season.
Sophomore Jasmine Jackson led Georgetown with a career-high 15 points. Rodgers was 1-of-6 shooting in the first half with just four points and finished 6-of-18 from the floor, including 0-of-7 from 3-point range as Georgetown lost its third straight. Rodgers also entered the game as the nation’s active leader in 3-point field goals (301) and 3-point attempts (917).
Also on Wednesday night, USF (12-4, 1-2 BIG EAST) earned its first BIG EAST win of the season with a 77-44 victory over Cincinnati (8-8, 0-3 BIG EAST) at home. The Bulls got a game-high 17 points from senior Andrea Smith. The high-scoring guard lowered her league-leading scoring average (in three conference games) to 28.3 ppg.
Finally on Wednesday, Marquette (9-7, 1-2 BIG EAST) won at Seton Hall (7-10, 2-2 BIG EAST) by the score of 56-53. MU sophomore Arlesia Morse scored 13 points, including the final five points of regulation. Junior Katherine Plouffe also tallied 13 points for the Golden Eagles and notched her fifth double-double this season with 10 boards.
The game was tied at 51 each with 1:28 left to play when Morse converted a layup a made three free throws to seal the Golden Eagles’ victory.
Seton Hall was led by Brittany Morris with a game-high 18 points.
There were six ties and eight lead changes.
Three league teams are in action on Wednesday, as St. John’s (8-6, 2-0 BIG EAST) hosts Pittsburgh (9-6, 0-2 BIG EAST) at 7 p.m. Villanova (13-2, 3-0 BIG EAST) wraps up nonconference play at Penn at 7 p.m., and Rutgers (9-7, 0-3 BIG EAST) welcomes Providence (5-10, 0-2 BIG EAST) at 7:30 p.m.
Material from interviews, school websites, the Associated Press wire service as well as league and team sources was used in this report. All times are Eastern