BIG EAST Notes in PDF
Saturday was one of the most entertaining days of the season as 14 league teams were in action across seven league games. Villanova (19-9, 8-7 BIG EAST) had the most exciting victory of the day winning a 3OT thriller at No. 22/20 Syracuse 77-75 in the Carrier Dome. It was the first 3OT game in regular-season play since Feb. 9, 1993 when Georgetown beat Miami 90-88. The Wildcats also snapped the Orange’s 12-game home winning streak which was tops in the league.
Villanova redshirt senior Laura Sweeney played a career-high 52 minutes and scored a career-best 29 points on 11-of-20 shooting from the field. She had eight rebounds, four assists, four blocks and two steals. Sweeney also surpasses 1,500 career points and has 1,502 for her career.
Senior guard Rachel Roberts tallied 20 points for her second career 20-point performance. Roberts made a career-high six 3-point field goals.
Syracuse seniors Kayla Alexander and Carmen Tyson-Thomas paced the Orange who with 22 points and 11 rebounds apiece.
The contest featured 19 lead changes and 14 ties. Neither team led by more than seven points. It was the first triple-overtime game for Syracuse since 102-95 win vs. Lafayette on Dec. 4, 1998. Villanova has defeated Syracuse in five of the last six meetings. Villanova also won a 3OT game against St. John’s in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Championship (82-78) on March 3, 1989.
Elsewhere around the BIG EAST, No. 2/2 Notre Dame (27-1, 15-0 BIG EAST) won at Providence 92-57. Senior Skylar Diggins had 28 points, six assists and two steals. She seized the Notre Dame career record for steals (349), passing current Fighting Irish assistant coach Niele Ivey (348 from 1996-2001).
The win also was the 19th straight in BIG EAST regular-season play for the Irish and their 16th straight conference road win. The Fighting Irish haven't lost a regular-season conference game since falling to West Virginia on Feb. 12, 2012. Providence moved to 7-21, 2-13 BIG EAST.
The Irish also clinched a share of the regular-season title for the second straight season. Notre Dame hosts UConn on Monday. A win would give the Irish the top seed in the BIG EAST Championship. A loss to UConn would drop Notre Dame into a tie with the Huskies, and UConn would get the top seed in a tiebreaker, because the Huskies beat Marquette twice this season while Notre Dame was only 1-0 against the Golden Eagles. Earlier this year, Notre Dame edged Connecticut 73-72 at Gampel Pavilion.
Connecticut (27-2, 14-1 BIG EAST) won at USF 85-51. Sophomore Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis scored a career-high 32 points to lead the Huskies, while junior Stefanie Dolson tied her career high with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Dolson was 8-of-11 from the field and a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line.
Other action on Saturday saw DePaul (20-9, 9-6 BIG EAST) win at Pittsburgh 71-73. Cincinnati (12-16, 4-11 BIG EAST) topped Rutgers 56-48 at home, while Seton Hall (10-19, 5-11 BIG EAST) upended St. John’s 60-51 at home. The Red Storm are 16-11 on the season, 10-5 in BIG EAST play but can still earn the #4 seed in the BIG EAST Championship if they win Monday evening and get help with Louisville beating Syracuse.
Finally on Saturday, Marquette (14-14, 6-9 BIG EAST) slipped past Georgetown 51-48 in Washington, D.C.
BIG EAST Championship Central
Monday, March 4
3/3 CONNECTICUT at 2/2 NOTRE DAME (ESPN2) 7:00 p.m.
PROVIDENCE at VILLANOVA 7:00 p.m.
DE PAUL at NR/RV ST. JOHN’S 7:00 p.m.
PITTSBURGH at RUTGERS 7:30 p.m.
RV/RV USF at GEORGETOWN 8:00 p.m.
CINCINNATI at MARQUETTE 8:00 p.m.
16/14 LOUISVILLE at 22/20 SYRACUSE (CBS SN) 9:00 p.m.
CBS SN – CBS Sports Network
Conclusion of the regular season
Material from interviews, school websites, the Associated Press wire service as well as league and team sources were used in this report. All times are Eastern.