On Wednesday against Oral Roberts, Marquette missed their first 13 shots without Katherine Plouffe, who was back home in Edmonton dealing with a family matter. By the time MU drained a shot from the field, it was 13-3 with 13:51 left in the first half. From that point on, though, Marquette outscored ORU 76-58, including the five minutes of overtime that was required when MU fumbled away a 63-59 lead in the last 96 seconds.
Given how family emergencies tend to go, I wouldn't expect Plouffe to return from Edmonton for tonight's game. Factor in Marquette taking the next eight days off for Christmas before recovening to head to Indianapolis for the Big East opener, and it seems like the right choice for KP would be to stay at home and miss this game as well. I would say that it's quite likely that Marquette comes out much stronger than they did against Oral Roberts.
I would say "Luckily, they play the 1-9 Pioneers," but ORU was winless in games against Division 1 opponents this season coming into Wednesday's game, so focus will be required. Denver has alternated home and road games all season, but other than a trip to the Air Force Academy, they've all been losses. This game will be the first of five straight on the road for the Pioneers, as they won't have a home game again until January 12th for their Summit League opener.
DU has four players averaging in double digits in scoring, although one of them, Morgan Van Riper-Rose, has missed three games this season. Sophomore guard Kailey Edwards leads Denver with 13.4 points per game. Maiya Michel leads DU in rebounding at 8.4 per game, but she's missed each of their last two games. Junior forward Theresa Wirth averages 8 rebounds a game, so there's not much of a drop off there.
One thing to keep an eye on is ball security. After their 21 turnover game against Oral Roberts, Marquette is actually averaging more turnovers per game (16.2) than Denver is (15.8). If Plouffe is out again for Marquette, the Golden Eagles will have to limit their mistakes.