Women’s Big East notebook

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Player of the week: Maya Moore, Forward, Connecticut

The senior led the Huskies to an 80-46 rout of Cincinnati Jan. 29 and a surprising 87-51 blowout of No. 3 Duke Jan. 31. Moore dispatched the Bearcats with relative ease, scoring 23 points, pulling in five rebounds and dishing out six assists.

A win in the ’Nati was expected, but a home matchup against the Blue Devils, the last unbeaten team in the country, would be a much tougher challenge. Or so the experts thought. Connecticut crushed Duke by 36 points as Moore tallied 29 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

Game to watch: No. 9/13 DePaul at No. 2/2 Connecticut, Feb. 5

Both the Huskies and Blue Demons are undefeated in conference play, so something has to give. DePaul is coming off a big 78-55 win against West Virginia Jan. 30, and with a potential upset of Connecticut, could steal sole possession of the top spot in the Big East.

Junior forward Keisha Hampton leads the team with 15.6 points per, but will have her hands full against a Connecticut team that hasn’t lost at home in almost three years.

Game to watch: No. 25 Syracuse at Rutgers, Feb. 6

This matchup has major implications for both clubs as the Orange desperately need a win to get their conference record above .500, while the Scarlet Knights are looking to improve on their 5-3 Big East mark.

Rutgers needs to rebound from dropping three straight contests to Connecticut, Louisville and St. John’s after starting conference play 5-0. Syracuse had its three-game win streak snapped by Notre Dame and is fighting to remain in the nation’s top 25.

Still looking for number one

The Big East has lived up to its high standards so far this season, proving to be the toughest conference in the nation.

Ten teams hold conference records of 4-4 or better, but the standings drop off after them as teams with great basketball tradition have simply been unable to compete.

Villanova and Seton Hall sit in dead last. Neither have been unable to claw out a single win in the Big East this season.

The Pirates came the closest of the two in a 68-64 road loss to South Florida on Jan. 25, but they haven’t put together much of a showing against anyone else and score a lowly 56.1 points per game.

The Wildcats have lost by five twice, against Providence and Marquette, and held a seven-point lead at one point in the latter of the two contests. Villanova averages even fewer points than Seton Hall, with an appalling 50.3 points per.

The good news for both squads is that they meet in South Orange, N.J. on Feb. 19, meaning at least one of them won’t finish with a goose egg in the Big East.

Georgetown surging, West Virginia still needs to prove itself

The Hoyas continued a four-game conference win streak with a 76-52 road win over Louisville Tuesday.

Georgetown ended the Cardinals’ 10-game home win streak and continued to show its ability to rebound after tough losses to Marquette and Notre Dame in January.

Two big matchups at month’s end with Connecticut and DePaul still loom on the horizon, but the Hoyas have so far proven they are a team to watch in the gauntlet that is the Big East.

West Virginia, on the other hand, needed a 59-45 win over Providence to stop a two-game conference skid. The Mountaineers have hung in so far with a quality win over Syracuse but have otherwise come up short against teams with higher than .500 conference records.

After starting 16-0, West Virginia has been dealt three losses in conference play, and the next month will determine whether or not this team is as good as its 20-3 record suggests.