Women's Basketball: Marquette 73, Xavier 67

Arlesia Morse got five of her eight made baskets in close against Xavier. - Maggie Bean/MarquetteImages.com

Hey, look! A final margin that's equal to the margins of Marquette's first three Big East games!

It wasn't the best start to watch for any Marquette fans that found themselves in the Queen City yesterday afternoon. The Musketeers raced out to leads of 11-4 and 14-8 through the first seven minutes. The good news was that it wasn't foul aided. That allowed Katherine Plouffe, Brooklyn Pumroy, and Arlesia Morse to stay on the floor and combine for 27 of Marquette's 38 first half points.

The Golden Eagles took a 10 point lead into intermission as they held Xavier scoreless for nearly five minutes while going on a 17-0 run, and it was only 10 because Briana Glover scored to break the run before the half ended. It was a team effort to assemble the run. Five different players scored, led by five points from Plouffe, and it was capped off by a three ball from Pumroy.

Marquette would spend most of the second half with a double digit lead. Unfortunately, the lead only went as high as 13 on one occasion, on a Plouffe layup that made it 57-44 with just under nine minutes to play. Marquette being unable to create separation gave the Musketeers the confidence to assemble the 18-6 run that leveled the game at 65. It was a Jenna Crittendon three pointer that knotted the game with 2:17 left, but after XU had put the effort in to wipe out Marquette's lead, they didn't have anything left to get over the hump. Glover hit two free throws to answer a Cristina Bigica bucket and retie the game, but Marquette went on a 6-0 run to end the game and move to 3-1 in Big East action.

Plouffe led all scorers with 22 points, while Crittendon and Shatyra Hawkes both had 14 to lead the Musketeers. Crittendon also had a game high 10 rebounds.

Abbie Wilenborg Player of the Game: Lately I've made mention of how Marquette's mens' team has been letting the other team's top guy go off against them. Today I turn that spotlight on Xavier and ask them how they let Katherine Plouffe go off. Plouffe was the only Golden Eagle who took 10 or more shots as she shot 10-20 from the field and hit three of four from the free throw line to assemble her 22 points. She also had nine rebounds, two assists, and a steal. I really don't know how you let one of the best players in the league go unattended like that for 40 minutes.

Clare Barnard Undersung Eagle of the Game: Arlesia Morse had her heater on blast against Xavier, hitting eight of her nine shots. She did it in a very efficient manner as well, getting five of her makes either on layups or jumpers in the lane. She held off on three pointers for nearly the whole game, waiting until 2:46 remaining to shoot her first of the game. If you've been paying attention, you've noticed that this would have come while Xavier was wiping out Marquette's lead, so I don't blame her for looking for the back breaker. She got said back breaker when she broke a tie with 48 seconds remaining on her only made three pointer of the game.

Up Next: It's another week off for Marquette. They'll wait until Saturday to play their first home game of 2014 when St. John's (10-5, 3-1) comes into the Al McGuire Center at 4pm. It's Dollar Day, as general admission tickets, hot dogs, and sodas will all cost you just one picture of George Washington.

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