Louisville (6-3) earned its biggest win of the year following a 78-52 victory over No. 8/9 Kentucky before a sold out crowd of 22,152 at the KFC Yum! Center. It was the largest crowd to watch a women’s basketball game this year and the largest regular-season crowd to attend a BIG EAST women’s basketball game. It surpassed the Tennessee-Louisville game earlier this year which had 22,124.
Freshman guard Shoni Schimmel scored a game-high 26 points, while junior guard Becky Burke added 21. The duo hit six 3-pointers apiece as the Cardinals went 12-of-21 (57.1 percent) from beyond the arc.
“It's a great win,” said head coach Jeff Walz. “They're a top 10 team. They've got an All-American on the team. I think it says a lot because you look at who we were able to put on the floor and have success. Shoni's a freshman, Sheronne is a freshmen, Monique is only a junior. Becky Burke is a junior, Tia Gibbs is a sophomore. We've got a lot of our team that is coming back to continue to get better.”
Kentucky made just 3-of-18 3-pointers and would get no closer than 10 points in the second half as its pressure defense struggled to stay in front of the Cardinals. Louisville turned it over 21 times, but was never in any real danger after taking control with an 11-0 first-half run.
SEC Player of the Year Victoria Dunlap led Kentucky with 17 points and a career-high 23 rebounds before leaving with a minor knee injury late in the second half.
No. 1/1 UConn (8-0) won its 86th consecutive game 86-32 over instate foe Sacred Heart. Senior Maya Moore made quick work of Connecticut’s career scoring record as she scored 17 points. Her 2,355 career points, just eight games into her senior season, break the record of 2,346 set by Tina Charles last season.
The senior All-American hit 8-of-9 shots, while playing just 21 minutes.
“It was done in the context of helping the team win,” head coach Geno Auriemma said. “As opposed to scoring a lot of points and then wishing your team had one more championships.”
The Huskies are on track to tie the UCLA men’s all-time Division I winning streak of 88 games on Dec. 19 against Ohio State in New York City, and could break it two days later in Hartford against Florida State.
Junior Natalie Novosel scored 16 points as No. 16/16 Notre Dame celebrated the 1,000th game in school history with a 72-51 victory over Purdue. The game was held before a sellout crowd of 9,149 in Purcell Pavilion.
The Irish (7-3) forced 24 turnovers and converted them into 29 points. They also dominated in the paint, scoring 46 points and holding Purdue to only 29 inside.
Purdue struggled from the field, shooting just 36.5 percent for the game.
Rutgers (5-3) turned in another strong defensive effort in a 73-32 win over Central Connecticut. The Scarlet Knights held CCSU to just 16 points in each half and 21.8 percent shooting for the game. Four Rutgers players scored in double figures, led by junior guard April Sykes’ 18 points.
Seton Hall (5-4) had an impressive 73-67 overtime win at William & Mary. Junior Kandice Green recorded a career-high 31 points and 23 rebounds to lead The Hall. Green finished 9-of-21 from the floor and 13-of-18 from the line in 43 minutes. Freshman Ka-Deidre Simmons was also in double-digits for the Hall with 13 points.
Cincinnati (5-2) had the lone loss of the day getting stopped by No. 4/4 Xavier 69-61 in the Skyline Chili Women's Crosstown Shootout. Bearcats senior guard Shareese Ulis scored 24 points, shooting 8-of-16 from the field.
The Bearcats trailed 41-25 at halftime thanks to hot shooting by Xavier. The Musketeers, who entered the game as the nation's leading squad in shooting percentage, hit on 16-of-30 from the floor (53.3 percent) in the opening stanza.
Cincinnati used an 18-5 run over a six minute stretch, capped by a 3-pointer with 10:20 to go to make it 52-47, but could not complete the comeback.
Material from interviews, the Associated Press wire service as well as league and team sources was used in this report.