Updated BIG EAST Notes
BIG EAST teams closed out the weekend with five more wins on Sunday and improved to 14-4 since Christmas. Overall the league holds a 131-54 nonconference record, including 12 wins over ranked teams.
Four teams are in action on New Year’s Eve, including No. 5/5 Notre Dame (10-1), who hosts St. Francis (Pa.) at 1 p.m. No. 12/12 Louisville (11-2) also takes the court as it welcomes Tennessee State at 6 p.m. In addition, USF (10-2) hosts Detroit-Mercy at 2 p.m. as Bulls’ head coach Jose Fernandez goes for career win No. 200. No. 2/2 UConn (11-0) also is in action at Oregon at 3 p.m.
On Sunday, Providence (5-8) wrapped up the Fordham Holiday Classic with a 66-54 win over Lafayette in the Bronx, N.Y. The title marks the first in-season tournament championship since 1992, when the team took part in the Clearly Canadian Classic in Providence, R.I. Sophomore Tori Rule was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, while senior Symone Roberts was selected to the All-Tournament Team. Rule had 13 points in the contest Sunday and a career-best 32 points in a win over Colorado State on Saturday.
Seton Hall (5-8) also picked up a win on Sunday with a 57-53 victory over Wofford at home. Terry Green led the offense with a game-high 16 points.
Syracuse (12-1) rolled over Boise State 87-48 at the Carrier Dome. Freshman Brittney Sykes had 20 points and 10 rebounds in 22 minutes as the Orange extended their nonconference home winning streak to 53 games.
Villanova (10-2) rebounded from its second loss of the year to beat Dartmouth 60-37 in the Blue Sky Classic in Hanover, N.H. The Wildcats, who had their worst half of the year last time out (3-of-30 over the final 20 minutes in a loss to Delaware on Saturday) were impressive for the full 40 minutes Sunday. Senior Laura Sweeney led the offense with 22 points in just 28 minutes. The team shot 45-percent from the field and made eight 3-pointers.
Cincinnati (8-5) closed out the Bank of Hawai’i Rainbow Wahine Invitational with a 59-48 win over LIU-Brooklyn. Junior Tiffany Turner led the Bearcats with 15 points, six rebounds, two blocks and three steals.
Rutgers (8-4) lost at No. 13/15 Tennessee 66-47. UT led by as many as 28 points in the second half after leading 33-13 at halftime. The Scarlet Knights shot 34.6 percent (18-of-52) from the field and just 22.2 percent (6-of-27) in the first half. Freshman Kahleah Copper led the Scarlet Knights with 13 points. Rutgers' leading scorer and rebounder, senior Monique Oliver, injured her left ankle midway through the first half and didn't return. She played just nine minutes and had no points or rebounds.
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