Women's Basketball Games of the Weekend 2/4 - 2/5

Connecticut at Notre Dame Women's Basketball

Women’s Basketball Games of the Weekend 2/4 – 2/5


Like with the men’s basketball this weekend, action is heavily concentrated on Saturday, but there is plenty of good basketball to go around for two days. In addition to two Big East matchups and one strong Big 12 contest, the Mid-American Conference, West Coast and Ivy League get some respect this weekend with big games in all of those leagues.


MIAMI of OHIO at EASTERN MICHIGAN (2 p.m. Saturday at Convocation Center in Ypsilanti, Michigan)

The Mid-American Conference is split into two divisions and this game isn’t for divisional supremacy, but it is a good inter-division matchup. The Red Hawks (17-5, 7-2) are two games behind Bowling Green in the MAC East standings, and its recent losses have come to Bowling Green and Toledo. Eastern Michigan (15-7, 7-2) has won seven of its last eight, with Bowling Green the lone loss. The Eagles and Toledo are tied atop the MAC West standings, so a loss by the Eagles could put Toledo in the driver’s seat for now.


SAN DIEGO at No. 20 GONZAGA (5 p.m. Saturday at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Washington)

A battle among two of the top three teams in the West Coast Conference takes place as San Diego (16-5, 7-2) travels all the way to Washington. The Toreros look to avenge a 54-44 loss to Gonzaga the last time around and stay in the WCC hunt. San Diego is a half-game behind Brigham Young and a game and a half back of Gonzaga in the standings. The Toreros have a three-game winning streak that includes a closer than expected 56-50 win over Santa Clara last week. Gonzaga (20-3, 9-1) has lost to Stanford, USC and Saint Mary’s, which is in fourth in the WCC just behind San Diego. Time is winding down, as Gonzaga has just five games remaining in the regular season after this one. Also of note: Saint Mary’s and Brigham Young are playing Saturday, so the WCC picture could look a little muddier if Brigham Young goes down.


YALE at PRINCETON (6 p.m. Saturday at L. Stockwell Jadwin Gymnasium in Princeton, New Jersey)

Control of the Ivy League is on the line here as these two longtime colleges meet. Yale (12-7, 4-1) has the first of its two meetings with Princeton this weekend. The Bulldogs have won seven of their last eight, splitting a pair of conference games with Brown, but they are a long ways away from schools like Baylor (which beat Yale 109-59). Yale is a half-game back of Princeton (14-4, 4-0) in the standings, and the Tigers currently have a seven-game winning streak following recent wins against Cornell, Columbia and Brown.


MIDDLE TENNESSEE at DENVER (6:30 p.m. Saturday at Magness Arena in Denver, Colorado)

The leaders of the Sun Belt Conference face off against each other in this showdown. Middle Tennessee (18-5, 10-0) is on top in the East Division, and that race is effectively over. The Blue Raiders are three and a half games ahead of Florida Atlantic and four ahead of South Alabama. Middle Tennessee is on a 12-game winning streak with six games to play in the regular season. Denver (16-8, 8-2) is a game and a half ahead of Arkansas-Little Rock in the Sun Belt West. The Pioneers lost to Arkansas-Little Rock and South Alabama in league play, but they have a six-game winning streak currently going on.


No. 15 RUTGERS at No. 5 CONNECTICUT (7 p.m. Saturday at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Connecticut)

To keep pace with Notre Dame in a tough Big East Conference, Connecticut needs this win badly. The Huskies (20-2, 8-1) haven’t lost since falling to Notre Dame in overtime on January 7, and this includes an impressive 61-45 win over Duke last week. Bria Hartley had 15 points as Connecticut snapped Duke’s 34-game winning streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Rutgers (17-5, 6-3) is in a five-way tie for third place with Georgetown, Louisville, West Virginia and St. John’s. That’s pretty impressive company. The Scarlet Knights are slightly hurting their tournament position thanks to a two-game losing streak against Georgetown and Notre Dame, and neither of those games was close.


No. 22 KANSAS at No. 17 TEXAS A&M (8 p.m. Saturday at Reed Arena in College Station, Texas)

Let’s face it. Barring a natural disaster or a crippling injury to Brittney Greiner, the Big 12 is Baylor’s to lose. So the race turns to jockeying for second place in the conference, which will still bring a high tournament seeding. Kansas (16-5, 5-4) lost to Texas A&M 76-65 earlier in the season, and the school’s other losses are to Alabama, Kansas State, Baylor and Oklahoma. Texas A&M (15-5, 6-3) is tied with Kansas State and Oklahoma for the Big 12’s runner-up spot, three games behind Baylor. The Aggies have beaten Iowa State and Texas Tech in their last two games.


DePAUL at No. 2 NOTRE DAME (1 p.m. Sunday at Joyce Center in South Bend, Indiana)

Thanks to recent wins over Seton Hall and Louisville, DePaul (17-6, 5-4) has gotten back on track in the Big East Conference. The Blue Demons harbor no thoughts of catching Notre Dame in the standings, but they would like to gain some ground when it comes to seeding for the tournament. It’s pretty crowded in back of Notre Dame and UConn in the conference picture. DePaul has recent losses against Connecticut and Rutgers. Notre Dame (22-1, 9-0) may be on a roll, as evidenced by its big wins over Tennessee (72-44) and Rutgers (71-41), but the Irish have big games left with Louisville and Connecticut.