Women’s Big East Notebook

The Notre Dame women’s team proved Sunday that they were going to have a say in the Big East title race with a huge win over West Virginia 74-66 at home.

Senior guard Lindsay Schrader scored eight of her 16 points during a decisive 10-1 run late, giving the Irish a 74-63 lead.

With the win over West Virginia, Notre Dame has registered five wins over ranked opponents for the second consecutive season.

The Irish previously defeated Louisville Jan. 19, a game in which head coach Muffet McGraw recorded her 600th career victory. McGraw is the 19th women’s coach to reach the milestone and the 10th-fastest to do so.

  • Red Storm makes noise with stingy defense, potent offense

The St. John’s women’s basketball team improved to 17-3 on the season and 5-2 in conference play with a 68-65 nail biter over Syracuse Wednesday night.

Saturday night, the Red Storm defeated South Florida, 57-55, at Madison Square Garden. It was just the seventh time the women’s team had played at The Garden, improving to 6-1 in that arena.

St. John’s led 20-19 at halftime, marking the sixth time this season that the Red Storm has limited an opponent to under 20 points in one half.

Three players scored in double figures in the game, including sophomore forward Da’Shena Stevens, who led all scorers with 15 points. Key reserve Centhya Hart also chipped in 12 points. The Red Storm improved to 6-0 in games when Hart scores 10 points or more.

  • Huskies cement themselves atop conference standings

Connecticut continued to solidify itself as the top team in the Big East with convincing wins the past week. The Huskies ransacked Rutgers on the road Tuesday with a 73-36 dismantling, improving to 7-0 in conference action and 20-0 overall.

Maya Moore’s double-double (19 points 10 rebounds) helped Connecticut win its 59th straight game. The Huskies have held four straight conference opponents under 20 points in the first half en route to easy victories. Kalana Greene added 17 points for the Huskies, which has won every game during its streak by at least double digits.

Two games to watch

Notre Dame at Syracuse, Saturday, Jan. 30

The Orange failed to get past St. John’s Wednesday night but bring a 16-4 overall record and 11-2 mark at home into this conference showdown. Syracuse is led by Nicole Michael’s 14.5 points per game and gets help from top reserve Kayla Alexander, who pours in 12.6 ppg to go along with 5.7 rebounds per game. The Irish blew the doors off Providence Wednesday, winning 84-59 at home. Lindsay Schrader’s 14 points led the way for Notre Dame, which had five scorers in double digits.

West Virginia at Connecticut, Tuesday, Feb. 2

Assuming the Huskies get past Pittsburgh on the road Saturday, Connecticut will once again put its incredible win streak on the line in this important tilt against a talented Mountaineers team. West Virginia rebounded from a tough loss to Notre Dame last Sunday by smoking a Big East-winless Seton Hall team 53-31 in Morgantown. Korinne Campbell paced the Mountaineers with 17 points, while Sarah Miles chipped in 13.

Player of the week

Kahla Roudebush, Cincinnati, Sr., G

Roudebush averaged 20.5 ppg and 5 rpg during the week, which included a tough 60-56 loss to Georgetown Jan. 16 and an easy 64-47 triumph over Seton Hall. Roudebush scored 25 points on 7-of-13 shooting with five 3-pointers against Georgetown.