BIG EAST teams went 4-2 on Saturday and currently sit a combined 37-15 during nonconference play this year (.712). No. 15/15 Rutgers (3-0) remained perfect on the year with a 61-48 victory at La Salle. Redshirt senior Khadijah Rushdan poured in a game-high 20 points shooting 8-of-14 from the field. The Scarlet Knights are one of six undefeated BIG EAST teams.
No. 18/18 DePaul (3-1) beat Portland 99-64 in Rainbow Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii. Six DePaul players scored in double figures, led by junior Anna Martin’s season-high 29 points.
DePaul came out focused and determined to rebound from its opening round loss to San Diego State on Friday. The Blue Demons shot .493 (36-of-73) from the field and tallied 15 3-pointers against Portland. DePaul’s 15 triples is its second most of the season - the Blue Demons hit 16 against St. Mary’s to open their 2011-12 campaign.
No. 14/16 Georgetown (2-2) beat Houston 66-36 at home to even up its record. Senior Tia Magee had a game-high 15 points and was one of 12 GU players to score in the game. Both Georgetown losses this year have been to ranked opponents on the road (at No. 11/10 Maryland and at No. 20/21 LSU).
Elsewhere around the league, Syracuse (3-0) beat Lafayette 74-54 at the Carrier Dome. Junior center Kayla Alexander had 20 points and 17 rebounds for her first double-double of the season. Junior Carmen Tyson-Thomas added a career-high 21 points.
Marquette (2-1) lost to Georgia Tech 74-63 in a game played at the Bradley Center, home of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks. Junior forward Sarina Simmons had 22 points and five blocks in the loss. Marquette totaled 29 turnovers, including 18 in the second half.
The team’s usual home court venue (the McGuire Center) is hosting the BIG EAST Volleyball Championship this weekend. Also of note, both coach Terri Mitchell and Georgia Tech head coach MaChelle Joseph coached barefoot on the sidelines during Saturday's game in support of Soles for Jesus, a non-profit corporation that provides new and gently used shoes to people in impoverished areas of Africa.
Villanova (3-1) suffered its first loss of the year with a 56-41 loss at Princeton. The Wildcats were just 3-of-21 from 3-point range (14.3 percent). Redshirt freshman Emily Leer had a team-high 12 points in just 16 minutes off the bench.
Six teams are in action on Sunday, including No. 2/2 Notre Dame at No. 1/1 Baylor in the title game of the Preseason WNIT. The 2 p.m. ET contest will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network. It will be the 38th matchup between the nation's top two teams. No. 2 is 17-20 all-time in these meetings. Last year however, No. 1 UConn held off No. 2 Baylor 65-64 on Nov. 16 in Hartford, Conn.
In action on Friday, Pittsburgh beat Loyola (Md.) 65-59 and Cincinnati topped Evansville 64-34. Providence knocked off Harvard 71-60 and Syracuse beat St. Francis (Pa.) 88-45. In addition, West Virginia lost to St. Bonaventure 56-48, St. John’s lost to Hofstra 93-82 and DePaul was nipped by San Diego State 82-74.
Material from interviews, the Associated Press wire service as well as league and team sources was used in this report.