BIG EAST teams went 5-2 on Friday night and Saturday, led by a cross country win as No. 14/13 Louisville won at Portland 71-42. The BIG EAST is a combined 114-44 for a .722 winning percentage.
Becky Burke scored 17 points and Shoni Schimmel added 14. Burke had five assists and Antonita Slaughter grabbed eight rebounds for the Cardinals (10-2), who cruised to their third straight win since a 74-54 loss to eighth-ranked Kentucky on Dec. 4.
The game was tied 10-all about 5 minutes in before Louisville broke off a 20-4 run to take control. The Cardinals held a 40-16 lead at halftime and cruised to the Saturday night win.
Also on Saturday, St. John’s (6-5) beat Prairie View A&M 66-50 in the Chartwells Holiday Classic at Carnesecca Arena. Eugeneia McPherson led the way with 20 points for the Red Storm, who take on Memphis in the tournament’s title game on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. McPherson has scored in double figures for the past six games and is averaging 20.3 points over the past three outings.
After sitting out the first 10 games of the season rehabbing an offseason knee injury, senior forward Da'Shena Stevens made her first appearance on the court for the Red Storm four minutes into the game. Stevens played 19 minutes and added four steals, four assists, six rebounds and five points to her career stat line. With 679 career boards, Stevens is five away from surpassing Kerry Karst (1980-82) for the No. 5 spot in St. John's all-time rebounding records.
Seton Hall (7-5) won its second in a row as it beat Stony Brook 65-30 on Saturday afternoon. Tajay Ashmeade scored 12 points and grabbed 17 rebounds. The entire Stony Brook team totaled 19 rebounds.
USF (7-5) knocked off Maryland-Eastern Shore 71-50 on Saturday as well. The Bulls held a 39-23 lead at halftime and never looked back. Despite shooting 1-of-14 from 3-point range, USF was 25-of-57 from 2-point land, shooting 43.9-percent. Kaneisha Saunders led the Bulls with 20 points.
Rounding out Saturday’s action, Cincinnati (6-4) lost at Miami (Ohio) 74-69, while West Virginia (7-3) lost at Duquesne 61-55.
Bearcats senior guard Bjonee Reaves matched her career high with 25 points along with a career-best nine assists. The game was tied 62-62 with 4:33 left, but Cincinnati could not pull out the win.
The Mountaineers led for 31 minutes against Duquesne, but it was not enough as the Dukes, who are receiving votes in this week’s USA Today/ESPN poll, improved to 9-1. Asya Bussie led WVU with 21 points shooting 8-of-11 from the field.
On Friday night, No. 23/21 DePaul (10-2) beat Arizona State at home 73-55. Freshman Brittany Hrynko scored a career-high 25 points to lead the Blue Demons. Katherine Harry and Jasmine Penny added 14 points apiece for DPU.
DePaul opened the game with a 9-0 run while Arizona State missed its first eight shots. Hrynko had 16 points in the first half as DePaul carried a 41-26 lead into the break.
No. 2 UConn takes on No. 1 Baylor tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. It is the 49th women’s basketball 1 versus 2 game, with the No. 1 team holding a 29-19 record. Since 1999, UConn has played in 15 of the past 21 top tilt matchups, winning 12 of those games.
Material from interviews, school websites, the Associated Press wire service as well as league and team sources was used in this report.