BIG EAST women’s basketball teams were a perfect 8-0 on Saturday, led by a Syracuse
win over No. 6/6 Ohio State at the Carrier Dome. The NR/RV Orange (8-0) remained perfect on the season and handed the Buckeyes (7-1) a 75-66 defeat, their first loss of the season.
Syracuse senior guard Erica Morrow netted a game-best 27 points. It was the first home win against a ranked opponent for the Orange since it defeated then-No. 8/7 West Virginia 67-48 last season. It marked the 36th consecutive nonconference home victory for SU, which improves to 8-0 for the second-consecutive season. It also was the biggest win under the direction of fifth-year head coach Quentin Hillsman.
“That’s a great, great performance by our team,” Hillsman said. “The kids just played hard. It’s really good for us. I’m proud of them. We never talked about losing this game.”
Morrow was 10-of-18 from the floor, including a season-best four three pointers. With the season-best performance, Morrow moved into fourth all-time on the Syracuse scoring charts, passing Martha Mogish with 1,415 career points.
The win ranked as one of the best in school history. Syracuse beat then-No. 2 UConn 62-59 in January 1996 at Manley Field House for the program’s first-ever win over a ranked opponent.
Syracuse entered the game tops in the nation in fewest points allowed per game at 43.8 and the Orange held Delaware State to just three points in the second half of an 87-17 win a week ago. That was one point off the NCAA record and Delaware State registered its lone basket of the period with 28 seconds left.
Syracuse also ranked first in field-goal percentage defense (28 percent) and rebounding margin (+20). Despite the step up in competition, the Orange women more than held their own against the Buckeyes, who found few openings in the Syracuse zone.
Next up, Syracuse faces its second-straight top-10 opponent as it hits the road to face No. 2/3 Baylor in the Bahamas Sunsplash Shootout on Dec. 21 at 8:15 p.m.
No. 9/9 West Virginia
(10-0) continued its best start in school history with a 71-39 victory over Prairie View A&M on Dec. 11 at home. Senior Madina Ali matched her career-high of 20 points on 5-of-12 shooting. Ali also fell one rebound shy of a double-double with nine rebounds.
“At halftime we stressed that they had a lot of offensive rebounds with nine in the first half and only two in the second half. So, we did better on the boards in the second half,” WVU head coach Mike Carey said. “We stressed moving the ball at practice and we did that a lot today, but we have to continue to get better. We set the tone defensively, in the first four minutes. I want them to be perfect and do it for 40 minutes, but that's hard to do.”
West Virginia was playing its fourth game in nine days.
No. 11/12 Georgetown
(8-3) knocked off Rider 81-54. Junior forward Adria Crawford scored 19 points as GU shook off a sluggish start.
Sugar Rodgers, the Hoyas’ preseason All-BIG EAST Conference guard, did not start the second half and was limited to 11 points on 4-of-14 shooting.
“They only know Rider’s record if we tell them,” Georgetown head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. Rider moved to 0-8 on the season. “We’re coming off a two-game losing streak, so it had nothing to do with Rider. We have some things that we need to fix. We have to go back to what made us really, really good and that is our defense.
“Sometimes people get confused about what got us to where we are. We are getting a little too offensive-minded. Slowly, they are starting to understand.”
GU outrebounded Rider 40-26 and forced 25 Bronc turnovers on 14 steals.
No. 18/18 Notre Dame
(8-3) topped Creighton 91-54 at home.
Sophomore Skylar Diggins scored a game-high 18 points, while senior Becca Bruszewski added 17 points and grabbed six rebounds. More than 8,800 fans packed Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.
The Irish shot 63.3 percent from the field and cruised to the win. Notre Dame’s Erica Solomon went down with a knee injury about four minutes into the game and did not return. She was held out as a precaution.
Junior forward Da’Shena Stevens scored 17 points and sophomore guard Shenneika Smith added 15 to lead No. 20/21 St. John’s
(9-1) to a 73-49 win over Rhode Island on Saturday.
Senior forward Centhya Hart chipped in with 14 points for the Red Storm, who held the Rams to only eight points over the opening 12 minutes of the second half to take control.
Junior Keisha Hampton scored 11 points to eclipse 1,000 for her career and help No. 24/RV DePaul
(11-1) to a 72-52 win over Northern Illinois.
Hampton, a 6-2 forward, broke a 9-9 tie early in the game with a 3-pointer that kicked off a decisive 20-4 run. She became the 25th player in school history to reach 1,000 points, when she hit a free throw late in the game.
Senior Sam Quigley added 13 points for DePaul, which has won eight straight and improved to 7-0 at McGrath Arena.
(7-3) rolled over Dayton 69-55 before 8,613 fans at the KFC Yum! Center. Junior forward Monique Reid scored a game-high 21 points.
(5-4) knocked off Valparaiso 86-51 as five Pitt players scored in double figures. Senior Taneisha Harrison became the 16th player to score 1,000 points as she totaled 12.
“It feels great to reach (the mark). It is an amazing honor and I am proud to be the 16th member of the 1,000 point club,” said Harrison. “There are still a lot of games left to play and I know I can build upon it.”
The Panthers registered a season-high point total and is the most for the Panthers since an 89-37 win over Western Michigan last season on Dec. 5, 2009.
Material from interviews, the Associated Press wire service as well as league and team sources was used in this report.