Conference played kicked off the New Year with a top-25 matchup as No. 15/16 Georgetown hosted No. 20/18 DePaul at McDonough Arena.
DePaul freshman Brittany Hrynko scored 17 points and junior Anna Martin added five points in the final two minutes as the Blue Demons (14-2, 2-0 BIG EAST) beat Georgetown 59-50. Sophomore Jasmine Penny had 13 points as the Blue Demons won their sixth straight. Junior Katherine Harry added 12 points and 12 rebounds, while Martin finished with 11 points.
Junior Sugar Rogers had 28 points, seven rebounds and six steals for Georgetown (12-3, 1-1 BIG EAST), which snapped its 11-game winning streak. Rodgers continues to lead the league in scoring at 20.7 ppg. Tia Magee chipped in 11 points and seven rebounds.
With the score tied at 37, Penny’s basket started a 10-2 run that gave DePaul a 47-39 lead. Rogers scored seven straight points for the Hoyas and Magee’s two free throws pulled them to 50-48 with 2:23 to play, but it was not enough.
Earlier in the game, DePaul overcame a 10-point deficit - its largest comeback of the season and improved to 5-0 on the road. The Blue Demons also improved to 6-1 in regular-season games against Georgetown.
In Piscataway, N.J., No. 10/11 Rutgers (12-2, 1-0 BIG EAST) beat Syracuse (11-5, 0-2 BIG EAST) by the score of 55-44. With the game tied 36-all midway through the second half, Khadijah Rushdan scored five straight points with a three-point play and a pair of free throws. April Sykes then converted a steal for a layup and hit a 3-pointer to make it 46-37 with just over 6 minutes left. Rushdan capped the 11-1 burst with one more free throw.
“We didn’t have people stepping up to make those plays,” Sykes said. “In the past we’d lose those games. We knew we had to do whatever it took to help our team win.”
Syracuse could only get within six the rest of the way.
“Give Rutgers a lot of credit, you have to win home games to win this conference, they do a very good job of protecting the homecourt. My kids competed hard,” Syracuse coach Quentin Hillsman said. “They made some tough plays, tough shots—late clock 3’s.”
Rutgers also forced the Orange into 27 turnovers while only committing 12.
“They were as responsible for messing up their own shots,” Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer said. “We worked hard, but we think they probably contributed to the turnovers, too. At the end, they were missing shots, we were fortunate.”
Earlier in the week, the Scarlet Knights returned to the top 10 of the AP poll for the first time in three years. They were No. 3 on Nov. 17, 2008.
Iasia Hemingway scored 14 points—all in the second half—to lead the Orange, who were coming off consecutive 51-point blowout victories.
In Louisville, Ky., guard Shoni Schimmel scored 17 points, while backcourt mate Bria Smith had 14 of her 16 in the second half to lead No. 14/12 Louisville over Marquette 70-53. Becky Burke added 13 points and Cierra Warren had 10 for Louisville (13-2, 2-0 BIG EAST), which went on a 16-6 run over the final 5:29 of the game to win its sixth straight.
Marquette’s Sarina Simmons, who returned from a first-half collision with Louisville’s Asia Taylor, scored 17 points to lead the Golden Eagles (9-6, 0-2 BIG EAST).
Elsewhere around the league, Villanova (11-3, 2-0 BIG EAST) beat Pittsburgh (8-7, 0-2 BIG EAST) by the score of70-62 at home, while USF (9-6, 1-0 BIG EAST) won at Cincinnati (9-6, 0-2 BIG EAST) by the score of 58-55.
On Wednesday, there are three league games, including No. 2/2 Connecticut (11-1, 1-0 BIG EAST) hosting West Virginia (10-3, 1-0 BIG EAST) and No. 3/3 Notre Dame (13-1, 1-0 BIG EAST) heading to Seton Hall (7-8, 1-0 BIG EAST). In addition, Providence (8-6, 0-1 BIG EAST) is at St. John’s (8-6, 0-1 BIG EAST). All three games begin at 7 p.m. ET.
Material from interviews, school websites, the Associated Press wire service as well as league and team sources was used in this report.