Basketball

Big East Women’s Basketball Tournament Preview: #4 DePaul vs. #5 Marquette

Big East Women's Basketball Tournament Preview: #4 DePaul vs. #5 Marquette

Quarter-finals

#4 DePaul Blue Demons (22-9, 14-6 Big East) vs. #5 Marquette Golden Eagles (20-9, 13-7 Big East)

Dated: Saturday, March 5, 2022
Time: 1:30 p.m. Center
Location: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut
Television: FS2, with John Fanta, Kim Adams and Meghan Caffrey calling for action
Streaming: FoxSports.com/live
Live statistics: Dissemination of statistics
Twitter updates: @MarquetteWBB
Season Series: Tied 1-1, home wins for each
All-Time Series: DePaul leads, 31-49.

Do you remember when Marquette/DePaul was the title game of the Big East Tournament for four straight seasons? From 2017 to 2020, Marquette/DePaul, every time. In fact, this quarterfinal game kicks off Marquette’s bid to reach his sixth straight Big East title game, as the Golden Eagles took on Connecticut in last season’s final.

Marquette and DePaul have shared their two contests this season. Marquette took the win in the first meeting, shaking off a restless buzzer beater after spitting an 11-point lead to win 88-85 in overtime at the McGuire Center. It was January 13, and the second meeting was in Chicago about a month later. DePaul took the 77-66 victory in this one at Wintrust Arena as the Blue Demons took a 28-17 lead after 10 minutes and 46-28 at one point in the first half. DePaul’s biggest lead came with 11:18 remaining in the game, but the Golden Eagles cut 14 points from that 25-point margin late in the game.

The facts are that Marquette will have to figure out Aneesah Morrow if they want to advance to the semis. DePaul’s leading scorer and leading rebounder in the Big East has been a dominant force against United in the first two meetings this season. Game #1: 21 points, 17 rebounds, two assists, one steal and five blocks. Game 2: 21 points, 17 rebounds, two assists, one steal and three blocks. Morrow has shot 18 for 29 from just two points in two games against the Golden Eagles this season. It’s 62%! She only shoots 56% for the season! This must be resolved, one way or another.

Morrow also personally destroys Marquette’s usual glass advantage on both ends. Not only did she grab 17 rebounds in both games, but she did it the exact same way both times: eight offensive rebounds and nine defensive rebounds. Over the year, Marquette recorded an average of 38% misses on the offensive side and 74% on the defensive side, according to HerHoopStats.com. Against DePaul this year? Only 27% on the offensive glass during the first meeting, 62% on the two games in defense. Marquette got it on the offensive glass in Chicago, catching 42% of their misses. It also didn’t matter for most of this game, so take it all with a grain of salt.

For the record: Both teams have their playoff futures around this game. Friday Morning ESPN’s Charlie Creme has DePaul as the third team outside the cut line for the field of 68……and Marquette and their #71 NET ranking isn’t even in the Next Four Out. DePaul doesn’t need to have a loss to a team that isn’t projected as a tournament team, and Marquette needs to win the whole deal to even get into the NCAA Tournament.

Of course, there is a major obstacle to this plan, and it comes in the semi-finals. The winner of that match on Saturday will advance to the semi-finals on Sunday, where they will be announced at 2pm Central Time on FS1 no matter what. It’s almost a guarantee that the opponent will be Connecticut. The Huskies are scheduled to play either Providence or Georgetown on Saturday, but Her Hoop Stats gave them a heavy, heavy, HEAVY favorite to beat those two teams.