Brooklyn Pumroy (10) and Katherine Plouffe (21) look to get Marquette into the postseason. - Maggie Casey/MarquetteImages.com
The Golden Eagles begin the final six games of their regular season with a trip to see the Bearcats.
Marquette and Cincinnati tip off their first of two meeting this season tonight at 6pm Central. You can keep track of live stats here, and if you want to plunk down a few bucks, you can watch the game on Cincy's live streaming here.
Has anyone taken a look at Marquette's remaining schedule? Two games against the winless in Big East play Bearcats, two road games against teams below MU in the Big East standings (Providence & Georgetown), along with two home dates against a middling St. John's team and 23-1 Notre Dame. Maybe I'm an eternal optimist, and maybe I believe in Terri Mitchell, who had a nine year postseason run broken last year, but 5-1 is completely doable. That would move MU to 17-12 overall and 9-7 in Big East play. Maybe the NCAA tournament is out of reach without a big upset win in the Big East tournament, but a strong close to the season would definitely put the Golden Eagles back into the WNIT.
Junior guard Dayeesha Hollins is the leading scorer for Cincinnati, with her 15.0 per game average being more than twice as many points as anyone else on the team. Junior forward Tiffany Turner comes off the bench to lead the Bearcats in rebounding at 6.2 rpg. Kayla Cook is the most reliable player for UC, as the junior guard is the only player to start every single game this season.
As always, turnovers will be a key for Marquette. The Bearcats take away the ball at about the same rate that they cough it up, so if the Golden Eagles can limit their end, they should be able to come away with a win. It also bears mentioning that Cincinnati has an effective field goal percentage of 38.2% on the season, while they let their opponents rack up an eFG% of 43.9%. I wouldn't call Marquette a great shooting team, but their eFG% on the season is 45.5%, so perhaps they can take advantage of the Bearcats' defense.