Women's Basketball Big East Game 12 Preview: At Providence (6-17, 1-11)

Don't make Lauren Tibbs angry. You wouldn't like Lauren Tibbs when she's angry. - Maggie Bean/MarquetteImages.com

Ok, let's not kid ourselves here. Big game here.

When: Tuesday, Feburary 11, 2014, at 6pm Central
Where: Alumni Hall in Providence, RI
Audio/Visual: There's live video, but you have to pay for it. Live stats will be here.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWBB

Marquette's losses in conference play:

- 63-61 at home to Villanova
- 49-47 at home to St. John's
- 83-64 at Creighton
- 91-85 at DePaul
- 74-70 at home to Butler

The first four I can understand. Two very close losses at home to two of the top four teams in the conference. These things happen. The Creighton loss was an ugly peformance, but the Bluejays have shown an ability to get hot, with two different players blowing up for 38 points this season. DePaul was picked to win the conference, so a close loss in their building isn't a big deal.

That Butler loss on Saturday, though... boy, that one's rough. Yes, the Bulldogs are just a half game behind Marquette in the league standings, but if Marquette has postseason hopes in mind, they can't be dropping games like that. Even more importantly, they can't be dropping games to last place Providence, regardless of where that game is taking place. The Friars have lost seven in a row and 12 of their last 13. Losing tonight is out of the question.

This will be the second meeting between these two teams this season. Marquette came away with an 87-79 win, led by 23 points from Katherine Plouffe. In that game, I was surprised that 1) leading Friars scorer Tori Rule didn't start and 2) Providence doesn't really do much to get Rule the ball. Sarah Beal was the much more dynamic player for Providence, and even now, she's still only third on the team in scoring, behind Rule and five time Weekly Honor Role honoree Alexis Harris.

Marquette's goal for tonight's game needs to be to get Plouffe involved early and often. They did an excellent job on the early part in the first game against the Friars, as Plouffe had 10 points before seven minutes had wound off the clock. But Plouffe disappeared for the rest of the half from a scoring perspective, and then strangely, picked it right back up at the start of the second half, scoring another nine before nine minutes had elapsed. Plouffe was on pace to score 50 points at the start of the game, and MU could do with a huge game from their star senior forward.

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