BIG EAST teams were a perfect 4-0 on Tuesday night and improved the league’s nonconference record to 124-48 for a .721 winning percentage.
Skylar Diggins scored 14 points to lead a balanced offense as the No. 3/3 Fighting Irish cruised to a 90-38 victory over Central Florida. Notre Dame had 18 steals while forcing 25 turnovers.
“I was really pleased with the way we came out, with the intensity,” Irish coach Muffet McGraw said. “Coming off a big win over Kentucky (on Sunday), I worried about being a little complacent, and we came out and played hard. I was really, really happy, pretty much throughout the game.”
Kaila Turner had 13 points, Natalie Novosel and Natalie Achonwa added 12 each and Devereaux Peters and Kayla McBride each scored 11 for Notre Dame (11-1).
The Irish, who reached 90 points for the fifth time this season, shot 52 percent from the field and finished with a 46-28 rebounding advantage.
The Irish led 51-16 at the break, their biggest lead of the opening 20 minutes. It was the fourth time this season they scored at least 50 in the first half.
Notre Dame continued to stretch the lead, going ahead by 52 midway through the second half and again with 1:16 left. UCF will join the BIG EAST in 2013-14.
Elsewhere around the league, Pittsburgh (6-5) beat Indiana 77-72 in overtime. The game was played in Cancun, Mexico as part of the Caribbean Classic. Pitt freshman Brianna Kiesel led all scorers with 23 points, while redshirt sophomore Ashlee Anderson pumped in 21. The duo also combined to hand out nine assists.
Redshirt sophomore Leeza Burdgess added 13 points and 13 rebounds, her third career double-double. Sophomore Kyra Dunn had 10 points and six rebounds for the Panthers, who face Michigan State on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. EST.
The win was the 150th victory at Pitt for head coach Agnus Berenato, who is nine wins from becoming the program's all-time winningest coach.
In Las Vegas, Iasia Hemingway scored a game-high 24 points, including nine in a row for the Orange in a key late run to lead Syracuse (9-4) to an 81-70 victory over Ohio on the final day of the Duel In The Desert at UNLV’s Cox Pavilion. Hemingway finished with 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the season while Carmen Tyson-Thomas added 22 points.
Elashier Hall (13) and Shakeya Leary (10) rounded out the four players in double figures as Syracuse shot a season-high 50.8 percent from the field. The Orange totaled 17 assists with Rachel Coffey dishing out a game-high six.
With five players scoring in double figures, West Virginia (8-3) defeated Mount St. Mary’s 94-32 at the WVU Coliseum.
“Overall, I was pleased,” WVU head coach Mike Carey said. “I thought they came out with a little bit of attitude. I want a little bit of attitude on this team. It was good to see a couple of players dive on the floor that have not. It was good to see somebody other than Jess Harlee take a charge and that’s what we have to get. We have to get four, five, six or seven of them that are going to take charges, dive on the floor and will execute at the end of the game in a close game.”
Sophomore guard Taylor Palmer paved the way with a game-leading 21 points, shooting 50-percent from the field (7-of-14) with four 3-pointers. Behind Palmer, redshirt-sophomore Christal Caldwell broke out a career-best 17 points on 8-of-16 shooting and junior Asya Bussie recorded 13 points.
The Mountaineers shot 60-percent (36-of-60) from the floor, 64-percent (16-of-25) from the free throw line and 42.9 percent (6-of-14) from the 3-point line. The Mount shot 23.9 percent from the field and 23.5 percent (4-of-17) from beyond the arc.
Material from interviews, school websites, the Associated Press wire service as well as league and team sources was used in this report.