Big East Notebook

Notes from the women's side of the Big East basketball conference

St. John's Making Strides

With a 16-3 mark, the Red Storm is off to their best start since the 1983-84 season. SJU started that season 17-2 en route to a 24-6 overall mark, the Big East Championship title and an NCAA appearance. The team is currently third in the Big East standings with a conference mark of 6-2.

In this week's Associated Press Poll, St. John's received 47 total votes, and is on the brink of breaking into the top 25, with only two schools sitting between them and a ranking. The last time St. John's was ranked nationally was for six straight weeks during its record setting 1983-84 season.

In her fourth season as head coach, Kim Barnes Arico holds a 54-48 record and has made great improvements each season. In 2002-03, the team registered an 8-19 record, the following season the team was 10-18. In 2004-05, the Red Storm doubled its win total, ending the year at 20-11.

Connecticut and Rutgers Sitting Atop the Standings

No. 5/4 Connecticut and No. 10/9 Rutgers are at the top of the Big East standings with 7-0 and 6-0 records, respectively. The two meetings between the Huskies and the Scarlet Knights will be highly anticipated. They will duel on Feb. 7 at UConn and Feb. 27 in Piscataway.

Last year, Rutgers grabbed its first regular season outright title with a 14-2 league record, while Connecticut earned its 12th BIG EAST Championship title with a 67-51 win over the Scarlet Knights. The two teams split its regular-season series in 2004-05, both earning home victories.

Three Teams Still Undefeated at Home

Three teams, No. 12/11 DePaul, Louisville and St. John's, remain undefeated at home through 10 weeks of regular-season play. Playing its games on campus at the DePaul Athletic Center, the Blue Demons stand at 10-0, having knocked off then-No. 22/23 Purdue and then beating Pittsburgh, Villanova and Louisville. Louisville has secured wins against Indiana, Xavier, Villanova and then-No. 20/19 Notre Dame at Freedom Hall with an untainted home record of 8-0. St. John's holds a record of 7-0 at home, topping then-No. 12/12 Notre Dame and Pittsburgh at Carnesecca Arena and most recently Villanova at Madison Square Garden.

Notre Dame's Erwin Gives Back to the Community

Notre Dame junior forward Krystal Erwin decided prior to the 2005-06 that she wanted to give back to the community and get involved in a mentoring program. Meeting with 15-20 female students at the Dickinson Middle School in South Bend one day per week, Erwin is giving special attention to this group that needs a positive role model. She prepares a lesson plan that focuses on dealing with life's daily struggles and temptations, including drugs, alcohol, violence, respect and education. She has applied her life experiences from growing up in Los Angeles.

Sanni, Bulger Sharp

WVU's Meg Bulger leased the naiton in three-pointers per game, averaging 3.9 per contest. Teammate Olayinka Sanni is tied for second in the nation in field goal percentage. Sanni is hitting 67.6% of her attempts from the field this year.

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