NR/#22 DePaul 71, Marquette 59

Terri Mitchell coaches a roster of 11 players, two less than the NCAA allowed limit of 13 for women's basketball. Three of those players - Courtney Thomas, Lauren Tibbs, and Apiew Ojulu - were injured coming into yesterday's game against DePaul and weren't going to play. That left Terri Mitchell with 8 active players. One of those players was Margeaux Dupuy, and wasn't going to have an impact on this game.

So when the first half ended with Marquette leading by 3, but carrying Gabi Minix with 3 fouls and Chelsie Butler with a turned ankle late in the half, the likely outcome was looming. You're not going to hold onto a road lead with 6 healthy players and that's what happened to Marquette. Eventually fatigue took over and DePaul was able to pull away for the win.

Katherine Plouffe led the Golden Eagles (13-11, 4-7 Big East) in scoring with 22 while Sarina Simmons put together her 8th career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. DePaul (19-7, 7-5 Big East) had 4 players score in double figures led by Anna Martin, who added 10 rebounds to her 19 points.

We're going to pass on awards and whimsy today to take a look at Marquette's post season outlook after the jump. Join us, won't you?

I don't think I'm really stepping out of bounds by thinking that Marquette is not going to return to the NCAA Tournament this season. But what's more important is Marquette extending their 9 year run of post season appearances. Based on past seasons, the WNIT is still in the picture. Let's look at where Marquette ended the regular season and figure out what the Golden Eagles' chances are.

During the 9 year postseason streak, Marquette has appeared in the WNIT 6 times. Here's how they looked after the conference tournament each time:

2003: 15-13, 6-8 CUSA
2005: 18-11, 8-6 CUSA
2006: 18-10, 9-7 Big East
2008: 16-14, 8-8 Big East
2009: 16-15, 7-9 Big East
2010: 16-15, 6-10 Big East

From what's happened in the past, it appears that as long as Marquette stays above .500 overall, they'll make the WNIT. This leads us to a bit of good news, as the Golden Eagles have some games they should win left on the schedule. Here's Marquette's remaining schedule along with each team's record right now.

South Florida 13-13, 5-7
@Syracuse 15-11, 4-8
@Cincinnati 13-12, 4-8
Connecticut 23-2, 11-1
@Rutgers 17-7, 6-5

The Big East Women's Basketball Championship involves all 16 teams, so there will be at least one game in that tournament. As the standings sit right now, Marquette is in 12th place. That would give them a first round game against #13, which is currently Syracuse.

Marquette sits at 13-11 right now. There are a minimum of 6 games left in the season. Marquette will need to win at least 3 of those six games to stay above .500 for the season. A 2-4 record will put them at exactly .500 at 15-15, which might not be enough.

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