Updated BIG EAST Notes
On Thursday, No. 5/5 Notre Dame (7-1) takes on Kansas State in the second day of the World Vision Classic held in Las Vegas, Nev. In addition, Pittsburgh (6-4) hosts Mount St. Mary’s at 7 p.m., and Marquette welcomes Dartmouth at 8 p.m.
On Wednesday, No. 2/2 UConn (9-0) rolled past Oakland (Mich.) 97-25 at the XL Center. Freshman Breanna Stewart scored 21 points in 29 minutes off the bench. She also grabbed 13 rebounds for the second double-double of her young career. Junior Bria Hartley also scored 21 points, including three 3-pointers.
The Huskies were playing for the first time since the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in nearby Newtown that claimed the lives of 20 students and six adults last Friday.
A pregame ceremony was held to honor the 26 victims. There was a moment of silence and UConn players and cheerleaders formed a circle at midcourt holding 26 candles.
''I don't know that you can either be on the court or be in the stands and be a part of that ceremony and not be effected by it,'' UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. ''That's something that the younger you are, the more you're effected by it.''
Huskies players wore small patches on the front of their game jerseys with the letters ''SH.'' The letters were white with a green background, the school colors at the elementary school located about 50 miles away from the XL Center. In addition, UConn bench personnel and others associated with the game wore special green and white ribbons.
Oakland also honored the 26 individuals. Players each attached a green ribbon to the laces on their sneakers, and coaches and team staff wore green and white ribbons on their jackets or sweaters.
In addition, Notre Dame topped Alabama A&M 100-39. The Irish surpassed the century mark their last time out in a 109-70 victory over Utah State on Dec. 8, marking the first time Notre Dame has scored more than 100 points in back-to-back games. The Irish rank second in the league in scoring at 82.8 ppg.
''I was really pleased with the way we shot the ball,'' Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. ''We had 10 days off between games, and we didn't get to shoot on the court here before the game. I thought we'd be rusty, but I thought we looked pretty good. We only made 10 turnovers.”
Earlier in the day on Wednesday, Seton Hall (4-7) danced past New Orleans 82-35 and Marquette (5-5) sunk Navy. In the Pirates’ win, 11 different players scored, including senior Terry Green who had a team-high 15 points. The 47-point margin of victory was the most for Seton Hall since a 95-43 victory over Norfolk State on Dec. 31, 2008, and the Pirates set season-high marks in points scored (82), three-point field goals (9) and assists (26).
In the Golden Eagles’ win, junior Katherine Plouffe scored a career-high 23 points and shot 11-of-15 from the field. She scored 17 points in the second half. The game was tied 36-36 at halftime, but Marquette was a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line over the final 20 minutes, while Navy was 1-of-7. More than 3,000 Milwaukee Public School children were in attendance for Milwaukee Public Schools Day.
Late Wednesday night, Providence (2-8) lost at Clemson in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Senior Symone Roberts led the Friars with 17 points, but the team shot just 27-percent from the field.
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