Updated BIG EAST Notes
Just one game is on the schedule for Super Bowl Sunday as USF (14-6, 3-4 BIG EAST) travels to Pittsburgh (9-11, 0-7 BIG EAST) for a 1 p.m. contest. The two teams have split the last six regular season meetings with the home team winning each game. USF has never won in Pittsburgh in four tries.
Pitt’s last win against a BIG EAST team was on March 4, 2011 in the BIG EAST Championship in Hartford, Conn. – a 63-60 win over USF. The Panthers are looking for their first BIG EAST regular season win since Feb. 15, 2011 – a 60-57 victory over Providence at the Petersen Events Center.
On Saturday, seven league games were on the schedule, including four ranked teams. In addition, six of the seven teams playing at home came away winners.
No. 2/3 Notre Dame (20-1, 8-0 BIG EAST) beat Cincinnati 64-42 at home. The Irish have won 15 in a row and earned career win No. 699 for head coach Muffet McGraw. The Bearcats (8-13, 0-8 BIG EAST) have lost eight in a row.
No. 3/2 Connecticut (20-1, 7-1 BIG EAST) had the lone road victory on Saturday as the Huskies won at St. John’s 71-65. Sophomore Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had team-highs of 19 points and 10 rebounds. Junior center Stefanie Dolson did not play with the flu. It was the first regular-season meeting between the teams since St. John’s historic win at UConn last year snapping a 99-game home win streak.
No. 12/12 Louisville (19-4, 7-2 BIG EAST) topped Georgetown 74-60 at home. Junior Antonita Slaughter had 22 points to lead the Cardinals’ offense. On defense, the team held Georgetown senior Sugar Rodgers, who entered the game second nationally in scoring at 23.7 ppg, to just six points on 2-of-17 shooting. The Cardinals have won five in a row, while Georgetown (13-9, 4-5 BIG EAST) dipped below .500 in league play.
No. rv/24 Syracuse (18-3, 6-2 BIG EAST) stifled Providence 75-59 at the Carrier Dome. The Orange are off to their best start in school history and remained undefeated at home (10-0). Providence (6-15, 1-7 BIG EAST) has lost three in a row.
Rutgers (13-8, 4-4 BIG EAST) posted a 58-50 overtime win against Villanova and continued its impress. Rutgers began league play 0-3, but has won four of its last five. Seven different players netted a basket for the Scarlet Knights, who earned career win No. 898 for head coach C. Vivian Stringer. Villanova (16-5, 5-3 BIG EAST) went to overtime for the second time in its last four games.
In addition, the BIG EAST has four active head coaches with 600+ wins, more than any other conference. Stringer leads the way with 898 career wins, followed by UConn’s Geno Auriemma at 824, McGraw with 699 and Villanova’s Harry Perretta at 633. On Tuesday, McGraw and Perretta meet combining more than 1,300 wins.
Also on Saturday, Marquette (11-10, 3-5 BIG EAST) beat DePaul 70-66 at home. It was MU's first win over DePaul since it upset the then-No.7/11 Blue Demons 60-53 on Feb. 26, 2011. Junior Katherine Plouffe had 18 points, while sophomore Arlesia Morse poured in 24. There were six ties and six lead changes. DePaul (16-6, 5-3 BIG EAST) senior Katherine Harry had a game-high 12 rebounds and continues to lead all active players in the BIG EAST with 488 career boards in league play.
DePaul senior Anna Martin did not play for the third straight game. On Jan. 21 it was announced she will miss 1-3 weeks with a left knee injury. Martin sustained the injury on Jan. 19 against Providence.
League teams return to action on Tuesday.
Tuesday, Feb. 5
2/3 NOTRE DAME AT RV/RV VILLANOVA (CBS SN) 7:00 p.m.
RV/24 SYRACUSE AT CINCINNATI 7:00 p.m.
MARQUETTE AT 3/2 CONNECTICUT (GP) (SNY) 7:00 p.m.
Material from interviews, school websites, the Associated Press wire service as well as league and team sources was used in this report.