BIG EAST teams went 4-0 at home on Tuesday, along with one road loss. No. 4/4 UConn (2-0) led the way with a 112-53 victory over Pacific at Gampel Pavilion. Freshman Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis came off the bench to score 25 points and classmate Briana Banks added 12, including eight in less than a minute to spark a 30-2 run that broke open a close game early and helped the Huskies rout Pacific.
UConn shot 71 percent and led 68-25 at halftime, tying a school record for points in a half.
In College Station, Texas, No. 9/10 Louisville lost at No. 6/6 Texas A&M 76-58.
The Aggies outrebounded Louisville 47-41, and were dominant on the offensive boards, where they had a 28-19 advantage.
The Cardinals were playing without star point guard Shoni Schimmel who was serving the second of a two-game suspension. They were led by freshman Bria Smith’s career-high 20 points.
Schimmel’s suspension came after Louisville reported to the NCAA that she played in a non-sanctioned 3-on-3 summer tournament on her reservation in Oregon. They were also without junior Tia Gibbs, who missed the game after injuring her shoulder against Missouri State on Sunday, and senior Monique Reid, who has back and foot injuries.
The Cardinals were forced into 27 turnovers without Schimmel handling the ball, including six from Smith and five from junior walk-on Shelby Harper.
Louisville head coach Jeff Walz didn’t want to make excuses for his team, but said it was difficult to deal with Schimmel’s absence.
“I’m not saying we win, but it’s a difference when you’ve got an experienced point guard on the floor,” Walz said.
TAMU head coach Gary Blair agreed and knows that Louisville missing three top players changed the complexion of the game.
“We did not play all of Louisville,” Blair said. “They had three starters out and instead of a 20-point ballgame I think it would have been right down to the wire.” You can watch highlights by clicking here.
Other action around the league saw Marquette (2-0) edge Wisconsin 54-52. Junior Sarina Simmons led the way with a career-best 23 points. Marquette trailed 49-46 with 2:37 remaining before mounting a comeback for a thrilling final two minutes. The Golden Eagles return to action on Saturday, Nov. 19 against Georgia Tech. The game will be played at the Bradley Center and head coach Terri Mitchell has announced she will coach barefoot in support of Soles for Jesus.
USF evened up at 2-2 on the year with a 76-41 win over North Florida. Ten different USF players scored a point as the Bulls raced out to a 41-16 halftime lead and never looked back. USF hit seven 3-pointers in the first half.
Pittsburgh (1-1) earned its first victory of the season with a 78-50 win over St. Francis (Pa.). Redshirt-sophomore Ashlee Anderson scored 29 points in 34 minutes off the bench. She shot 13-of-20 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds.
Material from interviews, the Associated Press wire service as well as league and team sources was used in this report.