HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Natalie Novosel scored 18 points and Kayla McBride added 15 to help third-ranked Notre Dame beat No. 25 West Virginia 73-45 on Monday night in the semifinals of the Big East tournament.
The Irish will Connecticut in the title game Tuesday night. Notre Dame will be looking for its first Big East tournament championship.
Notre Dame (30-2) got a measure of revenge on the Mountaineers (23-9), who ended the Irish’s 21-game winning streak on Feb. 12 by beating them 65-63 in South Bend. It was the lone blemish on their Big East season.
On Monday night, Devereaux Peters, who had four points and missed seven of her eight shots in the loss, had seven by the half as Notre Dame led 37-19.
West Virginia couldn’t get within 16 in the second half.
NO. 4 CONNECTICUT 74, NO. 13 ST. JOHN’S 43
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Stefanie Dolson scored 23 points and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 22 to lead Connecticut.
The Huskies and Notre Dame will play in the Big East title game Tuesday night. The teams have met five times in the title game and UConn has come out on top each time.
Connecticut (28-4) gained a measure of revenge on the Red Storm, who ended the Huskies’ 99-game home winning streak when the two teams played on Feb. 18. That victory also propelled the Red Storm (22-9) into the Top 25 two days later and they’ve been climbing the rankings ever since. They reached their highest ever on Monday when the jumped up five spots to 13th.
The win was the 799th of coach Geno Auriemma’s Hall of Fame career.
Nadirah McKenith scored 10 points to lead St. John’s, which shot just 29 percent from the field.
DAYTON 56, NO. 16 ST. BONAVENTURE 53
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Justine Raterman scored 13 points and Dayton rebounded after squandering a 22-point lead to win the Atlantic 10 tournament championship and clinch a bid to the NCAA tournament.
The Flyers (23-6) dominated early and never trailed until the final minutes. The Bonnies (29-3) had their 18-game winning streak snapped and must wait for an at-large bid for the program’s first spot in the NCAA tournament.
The Flyers, playing in their second straight A-10 title game, earned at-large berths to the NCAA tournament each of the last two seasons. Not this season. They mobbed each other, hugged and danced all over the court as the “conference champions” sign was taped to the backboard.
St. Bonaventure stormed back to lead 51-50. Patrice Lalor got it right back for Dayton with a pair of free throws and Andrea Hoover’s driving layup with 25 seconds left made it 54-51.
BYU 78, NO. 23 GONZAGA 66
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Dani Peterson had a career-high 18 points and 12 rebounds to help Brigham Young beat three-time defending champion Gonzaga for the West Coast Conference tournament title.
The Cougars (26-6) won their first WCC tournament after 12 years in the Mountain West Conference. The victory earned them an automatic bid for their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2007.
BYU led 36-35 at halftime after trailing by as many as eight early. The Cougars shot 71 percent in the first half and 60 percent overall.
Sophomore Haiden Palmer led No. 23 Gonzaga (26-5) with a career-high 28 points. Kayla Standish added 18.
Tournament MVP Haley Steed and reserve Jennifer Hamson had 17 points apiece for BYU, which outrebounded the Bulldogs 36-21.