Women’s Big East Notebook

As has been the case for the past two seasons, it has been Connecticut and then everybody else in the Big East and around the country.

Kalana Green scored 15 points to help top-ranked Connecticut beat No. 9 West Virginia 60-32 on Tuesday night for its 72nd straight win in the 2010 Big East women’s basketball championship game.

Greene made her first seven shots and grabbed 12 rebounds to earn most outstanding player honors for the tournament.

The Huskies have won five of the last six conference titles and enter the NCAA tournament unbeaten for the fifth time in school history.

Connecticut stands six wins short of becoming the first team to go through consecutive seasons unbeaten. The Huskies surpassed their own NCAA record for consecutive wins on Monday night with 71.

The win over West Virginia was the 14th time Connecticut has beaten a top-10 opponent this season, winning by an average of 26.3 points.

The Huskies used a 20-4 early run in the first half to turn a one-point lead into a 27-10 advantage with 6:42 left.

The Mountaineers wouldn’t bow out yet though, answering with an 18-6 run of their own spanning the half to close to 33-28 on Natalie Burton’s free throw with 15:32 left in the game.

But, as has often been the case this season, the Huskies went on one of their typical runs. Connecticut scored 27 of the next 29 points to end any hope of an upset.

The Huskies beat Notre Dame 59-44 Monday night for their record-setting 71st victory. Connecticut surpassed its own mark set from Nov. 9, 2001 to March 11, 2003.

Unlike that amazing run, which ended in the Big East tournament semifinals to Villanova, this Huskies team has thoroughly dominated its opponents in every game, winning all of them by double digits.

Perhaps most telling of the Huskies’ streak is the fact that they have been behind for a total of 86 minutes in the 72-game streak.  It’s been even more uncommon for Connecticut to be down in the second half — only facing a deficit three times after intermission.

Rutgers makes case for NCAA tournament inclusion

After dispatching 14th-seeded Cincinnati 70-44 in the second round of tournament play, the Scarlet Knights scored an enormous double overtime victory over No. 3 seed Georgetown Sunday.

Nikki Speed hit two crucial 3-pointers, including one with 2.2 seconds left to force a second overtime, and Chelsey Lee scored 17 points to lead Rutgers to a 63-56 victory over Georgetown in the quarterfinals.

Speed also banked in a 3-pointer in the second overtime that gave Rutgers a 56-51 lead with 2:55 left. After a layup by Sugar Rodgers cut the Hoyas’ deficit to three, Rutgers scored six straight points, capped by Khadijah Rushdan’s 3-point play with 49 seconds left to seal the win.

Rutgers knew all about tough losses, having fallen to Louisville in double overtime last year. The Scarlet Knights had made just one of their first 18 3-pointers before Speed’s shot.

Rutgers advanced to the semifinals, and eventually lost to No. 2 seed West Virginia, but finished the regular season at 19-14, which should be enough to propel them into the NCAA tournament.

Player of the tournament

Kalana Greene, Connecticut, Sr., G

Greene scored 15 points in the Big East championship game, knocking down her first seven shots to go along with 12 rebounds. Greene also added 15 points and seven rebounds in the Huskies’ 59-44 semifinal win over Notre Dame.

Points per game (in tournament, 3 games): 12.3

Rebounds per game: 8.0

Assists per game: 2.0

Steals per game: 1.0

Field goal percentage: 53.1

Free throw percentage: 37.5