UConn came into Saturday's contest having won 14 games this season by 40 points or more, but Marquette stayed relatively competitive despite an shooting an atrocious 18.8% from the field: the Huskies went into halftime with a mere 34-21 lead. With UConn up 44-28 early in the second half, coach Geno Auriemma lost his mind when UConn's Kelly Faris was called for a charge. He was assessed a technical which sent Katherine Plouffe to the line: she sank both free throws to pull Marquette within 14. But a fire was lit under the Huskies who quickly and steadily pulled away for another decisive victory. The Golden Eagles made all 15 of their free throw attempts, but only hit 13 of 61 from the field.
Tonight's game was a slightly different animal although the results were too familiar. Marquette found itself in a hole that was as big as 13 points in the first half, but battled back to pull within 5 before the close of the first half. However, Rutgers opened the second half on a 9-0 run which was just the cushion they needed to top Marquette. Plouffe, Katie Young, and Arlesia Morse all broke the double digit scoring barrier while Gabi Minix dished out 8 assists. Young and Morse both made 3 of 6 from beyond the arc.
The bad news is that these two losses leave Marquette at 13-16 overall and 4-12 in Big East play. The good news is that Saturday was not Senior Night at the McGuire Center because the Golden Eagles should be returning this entire crew next year. I'm very hopeful and excited about what this group can accomplish in the future.
Up Next: The Big East Women's Championship gets underway Friday March 2 in Hartford, CT. 14 seed Marquette takes on 11 seed Cincinnati at 9 pm.