Updated BIG EAST Notes
BIG EAST teams extended their winning streak to 10 games following a perfect 8-0 mark on Wednesday. Six of the eight wins came at home, while the league’s overall nonconference record improved to 68-19 for a .782 win percentage. By comparison, that is the top BIG EAST mark since 2009-10 when the league was an impressive 168-44 in regular-season nonconference play and tallied a .792 winning percentage.
Both ranked teams won on Wednesday as No. 2/2 Connecticut (6-0) brushed off Colgate 101-41 and No. 7/6 Louisville (8-0) beat Eastern Kentucky 76-42. USF (5-0) also remained undefeated with a 77-29 win at UNC-Asheville. The league has five undefeated teams along with No. 5/5 Notre Dame (4-0) and Syracuse (6-0).
Against Colgate, the Huskies dominated down low, outscoring the Raiders 50-2 in the paint. UConn has won 45 straight games in the month of November since a 71-65 loss at North Carolina on Nov. 21, 2004. The Colgate contest starts a four-game home stand for UConn, which includes matchups against the No. 11/10 Maryland on ESPN2 and No. 6/7 Penn State next week.
Against Eastern Kentucky, the Cardinals ran out to a 39-11 lead at halftime. The Cardinals' defense sparked the first-half rally, scoring 22 points off 17 turnovers and holding EKU to just 14 percent shooting. Overall, It was the fifth time Louisville has held an opponent under 50 points this season.
Louisville's win comes before an in-state matchup of top 10 teams as No. 9/8 Kentucky visits on Sunday on ESPNU. It will be highest ranking in series history after the Cardinals were 10th and the Wildcats No. 12 last year. Louisville has won four of the last six matchups.
Also on Wednesday, Georgetown (5-2) topped La Salle 69-61. Senior Sugar Rodgers had a game-high 28 points and grabbed 13 rebounds while battling flu-like symptoms. Rodgers ranked eighth nationally in scoring at 23.0 ppg entering the week.
USF won at UNC-Asheville 77-29 holding their opponent to just 13 second-half points. USF freshman guard Courtney Williams scored a career-high 16 points, grabbed a career-high seven boards and swiped a career-best six steals as the Bulls cruised. It is the first time the Bulls have won five in a row since 2009-10.
Elsewhere, Cincinnati (4-1) beat Morehead State 55-45 at home. UC held Morehead scoreless over final 6:28 to pick up its third-straight win. Cincinnati held its opponent to less than 50 points for the third time this season.
Marquette (3-2) won at South Dakota State 77-74 in overtime. MU sophomore Arlesia Morse recorded a season-high 23 points, while freshman teammate Brooklyn Pumroy tallied a career-best 17 points. Morse shot 6-for-12, including four three-point baskets, while Pumroy shot 6-for-11 and also hit four shots from beyond the arc.
Providence (2-4) beat Iona 70-58 at home as sophomore guard Tori Rule finished with a career high 23 points, converting 10-of-20 attempts. Prior to tip-off, Providence held a clinic and educated students from Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut on health and fitness. Over 1,000 fans attended the lunchtime game.
Seton Hall (3-4) beat Siena 57-48 at home. SHU freshman Tabatha Richardson-Smith came off the bench to tally her career-high 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting. She also pulled down six boards and shot 3-of-6 from 3-point range. The Pirates shot a season-high 43.1 percent from the field (22-for-51).
Four league teams are in action on Thursday, all at 7 p.m. Notre Dame is at Central Michigan, Syracuse is at Dartmouth and Rutgers (3-1) heads to Princeton. Villanova (4-1) hosts Lehigh in the only home game of the group.
Material from interviews, school websites, the Associated Press wire service as well as league and team sources was used in this report. All times are Eastern