No. 24 Miami 77, Providence 56
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ Holly Rilinger scored 18 of her 24 points in the second half, leading No. 24 Miami to a 77-56 victory Monday over Providence on Monday to win the Big East championship and qualify for an NCAA berth.
It was the ninth consecutive win for the Hurricanes (23-6).
Miami center Vicki Plowden, selected as the tournament’s outstanding player, had 19 points and 17 rebounds. Dellareese Wilson added 10 points.
Providence (15-14), which had knocked off Georgetown and Connecticut, was led by Jennifer Mead’s 15 points. Lucy Fontanella added 12 points.
Providence’s Sonya Lewis was held to 10 points, but finished with 97 total points in the tourney, a new Big East record.
The Hurricanes broke open a close game midway through the second half, running off 12 straight points in five minutes for a 47-35 lead at 10:13. Rilinger scored 10 points in that run.
The Lady Friars cut Miami’s lead to 55-46 with 6:49 left on Stefanie Goettsche’s left-handed layup, but could get no closer.
The Lady Friars opened the game with a 12-2 run, but the Hurricanes allowed just two Providence baskets in the last 15 minutes of the first half.
Miami took the lead for good on Plowden’s four-foot jumper at 15:41 in the first half.