Big East Women's Notes: Can DePaul Slow Down UConn's Big East Return?

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The number of unbeaten teams in the Big East is down to three, with UConn flexing their muscles last week against Villanova. Here's a look at last week’s takeaways and what to watch for this week:

After Meeting With UConn, Villanova Is Undefeated No More 

The Huskies had their way with the Wildcats, winning 90-52 to move their record to 4-0 in the Big East. Paige Bueckers and Olivia Nelson-Ododa both scored 19 points and two other UConn starters scored in double figures. Villanova’s Maddy Siegrist had been lighting up the conference but struggled in this game--shooting 6-22 for 15 points. 

Thus far, UConn’s return to the Big East has been one lopsided victory after the next. Through four games, the Huskies' average margin of victory is 36 points per game.

If they are to get challenged, it will be from DePaul. The Blue Demons are the only other ranked team in the Big East and have thus far taken care of business in the conference. Their 90-82 victory over Creighton moved DePaul to 2-0 in the conference and 5-2 overall. Sonya Morris, last week’s BIG East Women’s Basketball Player of the Week, had 22 points, eight assists and six rebounds. 

How will she fare against a UConn offense that is giving up an average of just 49 points per game? 

But DePaul has played a schedule that at least prepares them for the type of team they will see at Gampel Pavilion. Tuesday’s match-up will be DePaul’s fourth game against teams currently ranked in the top 13 in the nation. The previous three featured a blowout loss to Louisville, a close loss to Texas A&M and a narrow victory over Kentucky. 

Rankings Watch

Speaking of rankings, this week’s edition of the AP Top 25 Women’s Basketball Poll has UConn sliding back one spot to #4 after being leapfrogged by NC State. DePaul stayed put at #18

Marquette Still Undefeated

At the end of the week, Marquette will face their toughest game to date when they host DePaul. The Golden Eagles beat Xavier 69-56 last week to move their Big East record to 3-0. Selena Lott led the team with 13 points and three assists. Liza Karlen was stellar off the bench, scoring 10 points and grabbing five rebounds.

Other Notes

St. John’s snapped their five-game losing streak with a 60-57 victory over St. Bonaventure. The Red Storm appear to finally be at full strength with both Leilani Correa and Quadashah Hoppie suited up together for the first time this season. Hoppie scored 12 points, Correa had 11 points and 10 rebounds. 

Georgetown will play just their second and third conference games of the season this week. The Hoyas take on Butler on Thursday and Villanova on Saturday. This will be Villanova’s first game after losing to UConn.

Creighton’s Emma Ronsiek was named the Big East Women’s Basketball Freshman of the Week. Ronsiek scored 28 points on just 15 shots in a loss to DePaul. The 6’1 forward from South Dakota also had 10 rebounds. The Blue Jays play Xavier on Sunday.

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When UConn inhabits your conference, there's nothing wrong with leading the chase pack.

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