Marquette upset No. 6/7 West Virginia to highlight the three BIG EAST women’s basketball conference games on Tuesday night. The Golden Eagles (14-3, 2-2 BIG EAST) beat their second straight top-15 opponent following a win over then-No. 15/14 Georgetown 75-73 in double-overtime last Saturday.
Senior guard Angel Robinson scored 18 points and Marquette used an 11-0 run midway through the second half to post its second win over a top-10 team. The other was a 76-65 win over then-No. 10/4 Notre Dame on Jan. 13, 2009. West Virginia entered the game as one of three remaining undefeated teams and suffered its first loss of the year.
MU head coach Terri Mitchell was hit in the head by a loose ball early in the second half. Mitchell was hit in the head with 16:37 left and fell backward into her bench, where her assistants caught her. After a delay of several minutes, play resumed with Mitchell appearing unable to focus on the bench.
She stayed there until the next media timeout, when she left the court slowly under her own power, and didn’t return until 3:10 left. When back, she burst out in a big smile and looked much more alert as assistant coach Cara Consuegra continued coaching.
Senior Courtney Weibel gave Mitchell a huge hug on the bench as time expired and Consuegra took the mic immediately after the game to say Mitchell would be fine.
Senior Madina Ali, who finished with 14 points, gave West Virginia its final lead at 41-39 with 14:20 left, but Marquette took over from there using the 11-0 run for its first lead in over 23 minutes at 50-41.
Sophomore Sarina Simmons had six points and Robinson had five points in the spurt and West Virginia (16-1, 3-1 BIG EAST) could not mount a run down the stretch.
The Mountaineers had come in with the nation’s stingiest defense, allowing just 46.2 points per game, but Marquette became the first team to score over 60 points against them this season.
With the win, Marquette also improved to 3-0 all-time against WVU at home in the McGuire Center.
“We weren’t going to go undefeated. You’re going to lose some games, but I never thought we would lose composure like we did,” West Virginia head coach Mike Carey said. “This shouldn’t happen with five seniors; should not happen. I’m more frustrated about that than I am with anything.”
DePaul improved to 4-0 in BIG EAST play with a 77-61 win over USF at home. The No. 14/21 Blue Demons (16-2) have won 13 of their last 14 outings and are 4-0 for the first time since joining the league in 2005-06. USF moved to 9-9, 0-4 BIG EAST and has lost five straight.
Senior Felicia Chester scored 19 points and junior Keisha Hampton added 18. Junior Taylor Pikes had 17 points and 10 rebounds, while sophomore Anna Martin had 14 points for DePaul. Junior college transfer Andrea Smith scored 16 points for the Bulls.
In Syracuse, N.Y., sophomore Monique Oliver scored a career-high 27 points, while Khadijah Rushdan had 15 points and matched her career high with nine assists as Rutgers (10-6, 3-0 BIG EAST) beat No. 25/RV Syracuse (13-3, 1-2 BIG EAST) by the score of 78-67 in the Carrier Dome.
The win for Rutgers was its third straight and snapped a three-game losing streak to the Orange, who had won their first 12 home games. Syracuse’s other losses were to then-No. 2/2 Baylor and last week at then-No. 15/14 Georgetown.
After falling behind early, the Scarlet Knights quickly rallied behind Oliver. She had 14 points in the first 9:33, outplaying Syracuse sophomore center Kayla Alexander as Rutgers built a double-digit lead in the first 11:33 and kept it for most of the rest of the game.
Sophomore Elashier Hall led the Orange with a career-high 23 points, senior Erica Morrow had 15, and Alexander, their leading scorer at 15 points a game, finished with six.
Material from interviews, the Associated Press wire service as well as league and team sources was used in this report.