KATIE. F. YOUNG.
But first, we should probably talk about the first 39 minutes and 57 seconds of this match up. Your Golden Eagles went up 4-0 quickly and it soon felt that they would cruise along to a 10 point or so victory. The Marquette defense suffocated Villanova in the first half by switching defenders and forcing the Wildcats to take bad shots. At the half, Marquette led comfortably, 30-23, even though Nova's leading scorer Laura Sweeney had cracked double digits.
During the second half, the Golden Eagles only scored 21 points with 8 coming from free throws. In the meantime, while Sweeney got shut down and ran into foul trouble, the rest of the Wildcats stepped up and took the lead with 13:40 remaining. Turnovers continued to plague Marquette: Villanova scored half their points off turnovers. The problem was less glaring when Marquette was scoring in the first half. In the second half, I started looking for the McGuire Center's AED as the lead see-sawed between the two teams.
Down 48-50 with 55 seconds remaining in the game, Marquette lost possession of the ball on their end of the court on a jump ball when the arrow favored Villanova. The Wildcats took the ball down to their end and promptly started running down the clock. After a Nova timeout, Marquette got another chance when Katie Young stole the ball. Coming out of Marquette's own timeout, Arlesia Morse then missed the shot which would have tied the score and Nova's Rachel Roberts came up with the rebound.
At this point, all seemed lost and Katherine Plouffe's foul on Roberts seemed as though it would only postpone the inevitable.
Except that Roberts missed the free throw. Plouffe rebounded the ball, dished out it out to Young who took the shot from nearly half court as time expired.
AND IT. WENT. IN.
Oh, look, highlights so you can jump out of your chair and scream like those in the Al.
After the jump: Four Factors, Awards, and Whimsy.
Courtesy of Brewtown Andy:
eFG%: MU - 45.3% Nova - 42.6%
TO%: MU - 34.6% Nova - 18.1%
OReb: MU - 36.0% Nova - 20.6%
FT Rate: MU - 27.9% Nova - 11.1%
Points Per Possession: MU - 0.84 SHU 0.82
Abbie Willenborg Player Of The Game: Go back to the highlights. Watch that Katie Young buzzer beater. Lose your mind. Rinse, repeat.
Clare Barnard Undersung Eagle Of The Game: Don't forget Katherine Plouffe: she notched a double-double (a team leading 16 points and 11 rebounds), had nerves of steel sinking all her free throws, and got the assist on the game winner.
Whimsy: Whimsy? Pffft. BUZZER BEATER. (Brewtown Andy sez: UPDATE! Katie Young's buzzer beater is the NUMBER ONE PLAY on SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays this morning!)
Up Next: The most famous arena in the world, Madison Square Garden, for a game against St. John's on Sunday at 1:15pm.