Five league games were on the schedule Saturday, including four ranked teams. Connecticut, Notre Dame and Villanova were winners, all three are ranked. Georgetown and USF also won.
No. 2/3 Notre Dame (18-1, 7-0 BIG EAST) beat Providence 89-44 at home. Senior Skylar Diggins scored 21 points, all in the first half, and surpassed 2,000 points for her career. She has 2,020 total. The Friars (6-13, 1-5 BIG EAST) moved to 0-21 all-time against the Irish. Notre Dame also tied last year's school record with its eighth sellout of the season (and sixth in a row), raising its season attendance average to 8,988, better than 98.2 percent of Purcell Pavilion's official capacity (9,149).
The Irish take on No. 9/9 Tennessee on the road on Monday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
No. 3/2 Connecticut (18-1, 5-1 BIG EAST) won at Cincinnati 67-31. The Huskies led 41-9 at halftime and held the Bearcats (8-11, 0-6 BIG EAST) to just three field goals in the opening frame.
No. rv/2 Villanova (16-3, 5-1 BIG EAST) rebounded from a loss at Providence earlier in the week and beat No. rv/22 Syracuse 64-59 at home. It was the first time Villanova beat a ranked conference opponent during the regular-season since Feb. 14, 2009. VU was 0-of-21 against ranked league teams during the regular-season entering the game.
Senior Rachel Roberts, who missed the PC loss with the flu, returned to score a career-high 26 points. She also made a career-best six 3-pointers. It was a close contest with 11 ties and 13 lead changes. Roberts hit a 3 to break a 54-54 tied with 6:42 left to help Villanova pull away. Syracuse (16-3, 4-2 BIG EAST) got six points from senior Kayla Alexander, who became the school’s all-time leading scorer (1,791 points).
Elsewhere, USF (14-5, 3-3 BIG EAST) beat Marquette 58-48 in the BIG EAST television network Game of the Week.
In addition, Georgetown (12-8, 3-4 BIG EAST) beat Pittsburgh (9-10, 0-6 BIG EAST) by the score of 69-57.
League teams return to action on Sunday as No. 13/12 Louisville (16-4, 4-2 BIG EAST) hosts St. John’s (9-8, 3-2 BIG EAST) at 1:30 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPNU. In addition, Seton Hall (7-12, 2-4 BIG EAST) hosts Rutgers (11-7, 2-3 BIG EAST) at 2 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