Ten BIG EAST teams were in action on Wednesday as five early-season conference games were on the schedule. The three ranked teams in action all were winners, including No. 3/3 Notre Dame, No. 19/20 Georgetown and No. 20/21 DePaul.
Notre Dame (8-1, 1-0 BIG EAST) knocked off Marquette (5-5, 0-1 BIG EAST) 95-42 at home. The Irish forced 37 turnovers, 18 of which were steals. Kayla McBride led Notre Dame with 19 points. Skylar Diggins added 17 points, and Natalie Novosel and Brittany Mallory each had 11. Devereaux Peters had 10 rebounds to go with nine points. Sarina Simmons led Marquette with 14.
Marquette coach Terri Mitchell was visibly angry at her team’s showing.
“I’m going to remember this game for a long time,” she said. “I am completely embarrassed by our performance. I don’t expect anyone who puts on a Marquette uniform to perform the way we did. I know we are young, but this is unacceptable. I’m not happy in any way. I am very disappointed in the way that we did not fight tonight and had three games worth of turnovers.”
At the Peterson Events Center in Pittsburgh, Pa., Sugar Rodgers scored 28 points to lead Georgetown over Pittsburgh 82-54. The Hoyas (8-2, 1-0 BIG EAST) used aggressive defense to run away from the Panthers (4-5, 0-1 BIG EAST) early. Georgetown went on a 19-1 spurt to take a 26-7 lead with 8:38 left in the first half. The Panthers’ only point in that span of 8:43 came on Leeza Burdgess’ free throw.
Pitt shot just 6-of-34 in the first half and 26.7 percent for the game.
Taylor Brown and Tia Magee each added 12 points for the Hoyas, with Magee pulling down seven rebounds.
Asia Logan led Pitt with 15 points, while Brianna Kiesel had 11 and Burdgess scored 10.
In Chicago, Keisha Hampton scored 21 points, while Anna Martin and Jasmine Penny added 13 apiece to lead DePaul (7-1, 1-0 BIG EAST) to its fifth straight win, 69-52 over St. John’s. Katherine Harry chipped in four points and 10 rebounds for the Blue Demons. The game took place before a sellout crowd of more than 4,000 as part of Field Trip Day.
The Red Storm (5-4, 0-1 BIG EAST) crept to within six points at 50-44 with 9:16 to play but never got closer as Hampton scored seven points in a 19-8 Blue Demons surge.
Eugeneia McPherson led the Red Storm with 18 points, Nadirah McKenith had 13 and Amber Thompson added 10 points and 16 rebounds.
DePaul head coach Doug Bruno appreciates the significance of Field Trip Day.
“This is DePaul through Jeanne (Director of Athletics Jean Lenti Ponsetto) and the Athletics Department reaching out to public and Catholic schools,” Bruno said. “This is a cool game to play. “It’s cool to have all those kids wearing blue shirts in the gym.”
Greenbriar teacher Keri Lorenzen played for Bruno from 1989-93 when the Blue Demons went to four consecutive NCAA tournaments.
“I e-mailed (DePaul marketing director) Karen Loiacono two years ago and asked if I could bring my class for a visit,” Lorenzen said. “She told me about Field Trip Day and set us up.
“We came back this year so more students could experience a college environment. They know I played here and asked if I was going to play today. I said: ‘Good God, I’d get killed out there.’”
Through the generosity of Ponsetto, the Athletics Department paid for 30 buses, provided free tickets and T-shirts while showing the children the library, student center and classrooms.
“One of the cornerstones of DePaul’s mission is community outreach,” Ponsetto said. “Along with the chance to visit a college campus, the children of Chicago were treated to the very best in women’s college basketball.
“It’s great that Field Trip Day brought together two Vincentian institutions who model community service in the work they do. The letters we receive each year from the students and teachers indicate how much fun they had and how much they learned.
Elsewhere in Providence, Villanova (7-2, 1-0 BIG EAST) won its fourth in a row with a 69-42 win over the Friars (4-5, 0-1 BIG EAST). Wildcats forward Laura Sweeney, the reigning BIG EAST Player of the Week, poured in a game-high 25 points in just 30 minutes. She shot an efficient 10-of-15 from the field and grabbed 13 rebounds.
Providence was led by Teya Wright’s 17 points and 14 rebounds. Wright leads the conference with seven double-doubles this season.
Up in the Salt City, West Virginia (6-2, 1-0 BIG EAST) won at the Carrier Dome for the first time since 2006 following a 76-72 victory over Syracuse (6-3, 0-1 BIG EAST). WVU forwards Ayana Dunning and Asya Bussie combined for 38 points.
“I’m very proud of our team,” coach Mike Carey said. “I thought we don’t play well down here—we’ve had some good teams come down here and get beat by 25, so I’m very proud of our team to be so young and come down here and get a win.”
The Mountaineers led by as many as 16 points with 11:22 remaining, but the Orange were able to close it to two points at the 3:13 mark (70-68). Syracuse missed a pair of forced threes and was successful in blocking a WVU shot to run the clock down to the 1:01 mark when a successful Dunning layup gave the Mountaineers a 3-point advantage. WVU held on for the win.
The Orange had four players in double-figures, including 17 from Carmen Tyson-Thomas. SU shot 20-of-58 from the floor (34.5-percent), and had a season-high with 31 free throws on 35 attempts (88.6-percent). The Mountaineers shot 41-percent from the floor (26-of-63), including 40 points from the bench players.
Material from interviews, school websites, the Associated Press wire service as well as league and team sources was used in this report.