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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Women’s Big East Notebook

West Virginia pulls a shocker

Outside of the team members and their fan base, nobody in their right mind would have predicted that the Mountaineers would upset Notre Dame (25-2, 12-1 Big East) on the Fighting Irish’s home court Sunday.

But that’s exactly what West Virginia (19-6, 9-3 Big East) did when sophomore guard Brooke Hampton calmly nailed two free throws with 4.6 seconds left to give the Mountaineers a 65-63 win over then-No. 2 Notre Dame.

Junior center Asya Bussie led the team with 22 points, including 10-of-13 from the free throw line, and also collected eight rebounds in 38 minutes of play.

Bussie’s line and the Mountaineers’ win overshadowed another phenomenal performance from Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins.

The junior guard scored 32 points on 10-of-19 shooting and also had five rebounds, four steals and three assists in 39 minutes.

Notre Dame entered the game averaging 83.2 points per game and the 63 points it scored was its lowest point total since a 56-54 win over then-No. 7 Duke on Nov. 26. In fact, the Fighting Irish hadn’t won a game by less than 15 points since a 74-67 win over then-No. 2 Connecticut on Jan. 7.

Notre Dame responded to the loss with a 66-47 drubbing of Providence on Tuesday, but now sit just a half game ahead of Connecticut in the Big East standings.

The win was West Virginia’s fourth straight and second consecutive against a ranked opponent, defeating then-No. 14 Louisville 66-50 on Feb. 4.

The Mountaineers will complete its brutal four-game stretch with a home game against No. 24 DePaul on Saturday.

Huskies stay quietly under the radar

As much respect as Connecticut has on the women’s college basketball scene, this season — perhaps because the Huskies don’t have an 80-plus game wining streak — has seemed eerily quiet in Storrs, Conn.

Not quite sure why.

With Monday’s 73-55 win at Oklahoma — who entered the game 8-2 at home this season — the Huskies have now won 12 straight games, and are tied with Notre Dame for first place in the Big East at 12-1 in conference play.

Sophomore guard Bria Hartley and senior guard Tiffany Hayes combined for 43 points in Connecticut’s win over the Sooners.

While Connecticut has been prolific on offense — it ranks second in the Big East in scoring offense (78.6 points per game) — its defense has been its calling card this year.

The Huskies rank first in the conference in points allowed (44.8 per game) and allow opponents to shoot just 29.8 percent from the field. In fact, Connecticut has held its opponents under 40 points in 11 of its 27 games this year.

Connecticut also ranks first in the Big East in nine other statistical categories, including assists per game (19.8) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4).

While this year’s Huskies team may not have the star power it did when Maya Moore ran the show, there is no reason to think this squad isn’t a national title contender.

Player of the week

Da’Shena Stevens, senior forward, St. John’s

Stevens notched her second double-double of the season in St. John’s 67-57 win over South Florida on Jan. 8 and followed that up with 16 points, two blocks, two assists and eight rebounds in an upset win at No. 17 Rutgers on Sunday. Stevens shot 50 percent from the field and 78.6 percent from the line for the week.

Game of the week

DePaul at West Virginia, Saturday, Feb. 18

The Blue Demons have won four of five games since losing at then-No. 12 Rutgers on Jan. 24. DePaul is 6-4 on the road this year, but are just 1-4 on the road since starting 5-0. A win for the Blue Demons would go a long way in ensuring a top-8 finish in the Big East and a first round bye in the Big East Championship Tournament.

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