While I love the fact that UConn is back in the Big East, one negative effect of its recent transition is the overshadowing of the rest of the teams in the conference. The UConn women are just too damn good. We saw it the last few years in the American Athletic Conference, and it’s happening again in the Big East, where this absolute powerhouse of a program plays all of the conference’s best games. That being said, there were a couple underrated gems in the conference this week, highlighted here:
Seton Hall 60, Georgetown 52
The Hoyas, looking for their second win of the season, came up short in this contest against a very tough Seton Hall squad. Defense was the name of the game, as both teams shot below 35% from the field. Seton Hall was led by Andra Espinoza-Hunter and Desiree Elmore, who combined for 33 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. The team received a much needed spark from Jasmine Smith, who played more than half the game and shot 4-for-6 from the floor.
Georgetown was led by sophomore Graceann Bennett, who was the only starter to shoot over 50%, going 7-for-10 for 15 points, while adding 14 rebounds, two assists and a block. The Hoyas were a dominant force on the glass, racking up 55 boards to the Pirates’ 32.
Seton Hall picked up their only win of the week in this one. The team has a mixed bag of games this week, facing ranked DePaul, then Georgetown again, as well as Providence. Georgetown looks to earn its second win of the year with upcoming games against Creighton, Seton Hall and Villanova.
No. 22 DePaul 81, St John’s 73
While the last game was all about defense, that certainly was not the case in this one, as both teams shot close to 50% from the field. Each of DePaul’s starters scored double-digit points, which really showcased the depth needed to be a consistently ranked team. The “player of the match” was senior Deja Church, who put up 18 points alongside five rebounds and four dimes.
I hope the Red Storm’s Leilani Correa stretched out after the loss, because I’m sure her back was sore from carrying her team. She took half of the team’s shot attempts, and put up 33 points on 14-for-30 shooting. She played all 40 minutes, and also tallied four rebounds and two assists. St. John’s had a much more aggressive game defending the paint, accumulating eight blocks to DePaul’s two.
With that win, DePaul moves to 8-2 (2nd overall) in conference and looks to increase in the AP rankings this week. The Blue Demons face Seton Hall, Xavier, and Creighton this week. With this loss (and a later win over Butler) the Red Storm improve to 3-9 (eighth overall) in conference, and they look to improve upon their record this week as they face conference leader UConn.
Creighton 77, Seton Hall 76 (OT)
This game was an overtime thriller, capped by a clutch layup by Tatum Rembao to give Creighton a huge upset win on the road. The Pirates led for most of the first half, until the Bluejays bounced back to force overtime. Rembao led all Bluejay starters with 18 points, along with four rebounds and two assists. The team’s leading scorer came by way of Morgan Maly, putting up an absurd 20 points off the bench in just 23 minutes.
Elmore stole the show again for Seton Hall, dropping 25 on 11-for-20 shooting with 17 rebounds. Elmore and Espinoza-Hunter combined for 27 of the team’s 34 boards.
Creighton picks up a big win this contest, pushing them ahead of Providence in the Big East standings. They are now at a 4-5 in conference record and sit in sixth place. They look to improve upon their record this week as they face Georgetown, DePaul and Marquette.