BIG EAST Player of the Week
Natalie Novosel, Notre Dame, Sr., G (Lexington, Ky.)
In a victory against No. 8/7 Kentucky, Novosel scored a game-high 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds (five offensive) while making 7-of-13 shots and going 8-of-8 at the free throw line. Novosel scored four of her points in a decisive 11-0 run late in the second half, including two free throws with 4:46 left that put the Fighting Irish ahead for good, as Notre Dame posted its highest point total against a top-10 opponent in nearly 11 years and collected its second win over a top-10 opponent in the past three weeks.
BIG EAST Freshman of the Week
Brittany Hrynko, DePaul, Fr., F (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Hrynko averaged 18.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg and 5.0 apg last week in a 2-0 week for the Blue Demons. At Princeton, Hrynko had 12 points, a season-best eight rebounds, five assists and a steal. In a win against Arizona State, she had a team-best 25 points, three steals, five assists, three rebounds and shot 53 percent from the floor. Hrynko is the second DePaul player to win Freshman of the Week honors and the first since March 2, 2009, when Keisha Hampton collected the award.
Bria Hartley, Connecticut, So., G
In a loss to No. 1/1 Baylor, Hartley shot 59 percent from the floor. Hartley was 10-of-17 from the floor, including 5-of-8 from 3-point range. She led the Huskies with 25 points, two assists, three rebounds.
Becky Burke, Louisville, Sr., G
Burke averaged 15.5 ppg in a 2-0 week for the Cardinals. In a league win at Cincinnati, she had 14 points and a season-high seven rebounds. At Portland, she had 17 points, a season-high five assists, five 3-pointers and shot 60 percent from the field.
April Sykes, Rutgers, Sr., G/F
Sykes helped RU to a 1-1 week with a win against Iona and a 67-61 loss to No. 6/8 Tennessee. She averaged 22.5 ppg last week, pouring in 27 points and pulling down seven rebounds. Sykes had a game-high 18 points against Iona and grabbed five rebounds in 29 minutes of play.
Eugeneia McPherson, St. John’s, Jr., G
In a 2-0 week for St. John’s, McPherson averaged 16.5 ppg and 3.5 rpg. Against Prairie View, McPherson had 20 points, five steals and three assists. She shot 8-of-10 from the floor. She recorded 13 points, two steals, five assists and three rebounds in a win against Memphis.
Jasmine Crew, Seton Hall, Sr., G
Crew averaged 16.0 ppg in a 2-0 week for Seton Hall. She had 22 points, 10 assists, two blocks, two steals and five rebounds against Drexel. Against Stony Brook, she had 10 points, two steals and six assists.
**INSIDE THE BIG EAST **
DE PAUL AT HOME
The Blue Demons won their 25th straight at home with a 73-55 victory against Arizona State on Dec. 16. DePaul’s home court winning streak has spanned three seasons and more than 660 days. The last home loss was against then-No. 1/1 Connecticut on Feb. 10, 2010.
AGAINST THE TOP 25
Notre Dame earned its third win against a Top 25 opponent in four tries this season, while also picking up its second victory over a top-10 foe this year. The Fighting Irish’s 92-83 win over No. 10/10 Kentucky marks the third time in four years they have collected three wins over ranked opponents prior to Christmas. The Hoyas will host No. 9/9 Miami on Dec. 21 at 5 p.m. The BIG EAST has totaled 10 wins over top-25 opponents this year.
PLAYING THEIR CARDS RIGHT
This season marks the fifth time in seven years that the Cards have had at least 10 wins through 12 games. The Cards are 6-2 (.750) on the road this season, losing only to a pair of top-10 squads (No. 6/6 Texas A&M on Nov. 15 and No. 12/10 Kentucky on Dec. 4).
THE RED STORM HOLIDAY CLASSIC
St. John’s won its fourth-straight Holiday Classic Championship game after defeating Memphis 64-60 on Dec. 18. Junior Eugeneia McPherson recorded her seventh-straight game in double digits as she finished with 13 points. McPherson, who had 20 points against Prairie View A&M in Saturday’s opening round of games, won the Mrs. Eleanor Taffner Tournament MVP award. The junior averaged 16.5 points per game in tournament play.
No. 11/12 Rutgers defeated Iona 62-29 on Dec. 18. The win marked the largest margin of victory since last season’s 73-32 win against Central Connecticut. The Gaels point total was the lowest points allowed by RU to a Division I program since Dec. 19, 2008, a 61-29 win over Lafayette.