Around the Big East Women’s Basketball: Bluejays defy the Demon’s grip, shock DePaul

Connecticut guard Evina Westbrook (22) shoots over Xavier forward Sarah Leyendecker, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, in Cincinnati. Photo by Gary Landers/AP Photo.

Another week of Big East basketball has passed, and the conference continues to prove why it is the most  competitive and entertaining conference in collegiate basketball. There were upsets, blowouts and games that went down to the wire. Let’s review what happened. 

We’ll begin with the No. 1 UConn Huskies (18-1, 15-0 Big East), who demolished the St. John’s Red Storm 77-32. Guard Christyn Williams led the team with 21 points and two assists, with freshman phenom and fellow guard Paige Bueckers not far behind, as she put up 20 points and nine assists.  

Their winning ways would follow them into Sunday, where the Huskies defeated the Xavier Musketeers 83-32 in another dominant performance. Williams had another great performance, putting up 22 of the 83 points, while Bueckers had a solid outing, finishing with 11 points and seven assists.  

Now, moving onto the No. 24 DePaul Blue Demons (13-5, 10-3 Big East). They fell to the Creighton Bluejays on Saturday, Feb. 20 by a score of 83-72. By far the most unexpected result of the week, it is not a good look for a team who is looking to solidify themselves as a true threat to the Huskies in the conference. Despite the loss, guards Lexi Held and Sonya Morris each put up 17 points, while forward Jorie Allen put up 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds.  

Although the loss overshadows just about everything else, the Demons did start off the week strong. Monday, Feb. 15 saw DePaul defeat Seton Hall 82-76. Guard Dee Bekelja put up 22 points to lead the Demons to victory. Moreover, the squad defeated the Musketeers on Wednesday, Feb. 17. Hall put up 25 points, six assists, four rebounds, and five steals in an outstanding performance on both sides of the court. 

Whereas the Demons are ruminating on their upset loss to the Bluejays, the Seton Hall Pirates (11-6, 9-5 Big East) will be proud of what they were able to accomplish. They started the week off by defeating the Georgetown Hoyas on Thursday, Feb. 18 in a gripping overtime contest. The Pirates were led to victory by exceptional point guard Lauren Park-Lane, who put up 32 points and four assists, while fellow guard Andra Espinoza-Hunterput put up 26 points to push the team across the line.  

Saturday was more of the same from the Pirates, as they defeated the Providence Friars 67-55. Guard Desiree Elmore scored 23 points and grabbed 12 boards, with her double-double paving the way to victory.  

Now, St. John’s (7-12, 4-10 Big East) was able to bounce back from an enormous loss. Of course, they fell to UConn 77-32, and the leading scorer for the Red Storm, guard Unique Brown, only put up seven points and four assists. However, on Sunday, Feb. 21, they were able to bounce back and beat the Friars 65-47; Drake led the team with 17 points, followed by guard Leilani Correa’s double-double, finishing with 15 points and 10 rebounds.  

One team that was not able to bounce back from any of its defeats were the Georgetown Hoyas (1-13, 1-13 Big East), who lost on Monday, Feb. 15, Thursday, Feb. 18 and Sunday, Feb. 21.  

Monday’s loss saw the Hoyas fall to the Bluejays 42-41, with guard Milan Bolden-Morris leading the team with 17 points and three rebounds. The Hoyas fought with everything against the Pirates on Thursday, but were unable to get the win. Forward Graceann Bennett scored 17 points and eight rebounds, alongside fellow forward Jillian Archer’s 16 points and seven rebounds.  

Finally, Georgetown fell to Villanova 64-56 on Sunday. Bennett once again led the team in scoring, putting up 13 on the night.  

The Villanova Wildcats (13-4, 8-4 Big East) were able to snatch two wins out of the three games they played. The Wildcats defeated the Bulldogs on Tuesday, Feb. 16 98-74; they were led by forward Maddy Siegrist, who put up 24 points and six rebounds. Furthermore, fellow forwards Brianna Herlihy and Sarah Mortensen each had 16 points, respectively.  

However, the Wildcats fell three days later, losing 65-57 to the Marquette Golden Eagles on Friday, Feb. 19. Siegrist had a double-double in the losing effort, finishing with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Villanova would bounce back on Sunday, Feb. 21 by defeating Georgetown 64-56. Siegrist led the team with another double-double, finishing with 31 points and 16 rebounds.  

Now, we’ll talk about Xavier (4-7, 1-6 Big East). The Musketeers, who fell to the Demon Deacons on Wednesday. Despite this, Guard Kae Satterfield did have a solid performance, leading the team with 16 points. Xavier fell on Saturday, Feb. 20, as they were pummeled by the Huskies. Forward A’riana Gray put up five points and four rebounds in the losing effort.  

The Providence Friars (6-11, 4-8 Big East) had a disappointing week as well, as they first fell to Seton Hall 67-55. The Friars leading scorer was forward Alyssa Geary, who put up 17 points along with eight rebounds. On Sunday, Feb. 21, a day after their first defeat, they fell again, this time to the Red Storm by a 65-47 score. Geary once again led the team with 13 points and three assists in the leading effort.  

Marquette (15-4, 12-3 Big East) may call themselves the Golden Eagles, but they certainly did not have a golden week, as they fell to Villanova 65-57 on Friday, Feb. 19. Guard Selena Lott led the squad in points with 22, along with 11 rebounds. Moreover, forward Lauren Van Kleunen was the second leading scorer with 15 points.  

Last, but certainly not least, the Butler Bulldogs (1-15, 1-14 Big East) only had one game last week, but they were unable to defeat a fiery Villanova squad. Guard Okako Adika led her squad in its 98-74 loss, putting up 19 points alongside five rebounds. 

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