No. 2 Notre Dame 79, No. 22 Syracuse 68
After second-ranked Notre Dame fell behind by 15 points early to Syracuse, Skylar Diggins scored 21 points in the first half to get the Fighting Irish back in the game and then told Kayla McBride at halftime she was counting on her.
"I went to K-Mac and told her, "It's all you, baby,' because I was tired," Diggins said. "I told her, "You're going to take us there."'
McBride scored a career-high 25 points and Diggins finished with 24 points and eight assists as the Fighting Irish beat the Orange Tuesday night, their 21st straight victory.
The game was one of starkly different halves. Syracuse had 12 more rebounds than Notre Dame in the first half and had a 47-31 percent advantage in shooting. The Irish turned those numbers around in the second half. They had 13 more rebounds and outshot the Orange 44-32 percent.
"I liked the second half better," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. "I thought we played our game in the second half. We rebounded. We played defense."
Kayla Alexander led Syracuse with 24 points and 16 rebounds, making her first six shots of the game. But she made just one of her next eight shots and finished 10-of-18 from the floor.
Notre Dame held its senior night Tuesday even though it still has a home game Monday against third-ranked UConn, hoping to avoid the emotional trappings that come with the event in a game that likely will decide whether the Irish win their second straight Big East or share it with the Huskies.
Rutgers 68, South Florida 56
C. Vivian Stringer fought back tears as her Rutgers women's basketball players celebrated their coach's entrance to the exclusive 900 win club, then let out a sigh of relief.
As it turned out, the fifth time was the charm for Stringer, who became the fourth women's college basketball coach to reach 900 wins as Rutgers cruised past South Florida.
Stringer, a Hall of Famer in her 42nd season as head coach, reached the milestone thanks to Erica Wheeler, who scored 24 points to help the Scarlet Knights (15-12, 6-8 Big East) snap a four-game losing streak.
"I think it's beyond words," said Stringer, whose record stands at 900-330. "I'm happy that it's over. I can hardly breathe. It's over and now I can just coach and smile, and get back to what I love to do because it's never been about numbers."
Stringer joined Pat Summitt, Jody Conradt and Sylvia Hatchell, who reached the mark on Feb. 7. Only three Division I men's coaches have reached 900 victories - Mike Krzyzewski, Bob Knight and Jim Boeheim.
"I am fortunate to call Vivian my friend and could not be happier that she has reached the 900-win milestone in her career. I have great respect and admiration for Vivian and consider her one of the great pioneers of our game," Summitt said in a statement. "She has had an incredible journey, and I hope she adds many more to her "W' column!"
Xavier 64, No. 19 Memphis 62
Brad Redford hit a long 3-pointer that put Xavier back ahead after wasting a 13-point lead, and the Musketeers ended the Tigers' 18-game winning streak.
Xavier (16-11) made good on its second straight chance to beat a ranked team at home. The Musketeers blew a 17-point lead before losing to VCU on Saturday.
The Tigers (24-4) scored only 20 points in the first half - their lowest-scoring half of the season - and got dominated on the boards, ending a couple of notable streaks. Their 18-game winning streak was tied with Akron for longest in the nation.
Memphis was the only school that hadn't lost a road game this season. The Tigers had won 11 straight on the road, the nation's longest active streak.
Travis Taylor had 18 points and 10 rebounds for Xavier which was missing point guard Dee Davis, who had a head injury against VCU.