Marquette was down TWENTY-THREE POINTS in this game. In the FIRST HALF. With 9:27 left in the half.
And THEY WON BY THIRTEEN.
Here's the bonkers thing: There wasn't a sudden outburst of scoring. Late in the broadcast, ESPN3 showed a graphic that included these stats for Marquette, although I've updated them to show the full second half stats:
|First Half||Second Half|
The stats are essentially the same. It just took Marquette a little more than 10 minutes to really get going in the first half. It was largely Marquette's defense that did a number on the Red Storm, as the Golden Eagles end up closing out the game on a 62-26 run. From the point where they were down 23, Marquette got three stops in a row on eight different occasions. There were two spots of four stops in a row, and other than allowing a missed free throw in the middle of it, a five stop run by Terri Mitchell's crew.
The other impressive part of the whole shebang is that a lot of the very slow comeback - the game wasn't tied until 58 all, and MU didn't take a lead until 60-59 - was done with Katherine Plouffe on the bench. The senior forward picked up three fouls in the first half and sat all of the last seven minutes of the first half and didn't come into the second half until just more than four minutes had elapsed. During her absence, Marquette dragged the score from 36-14 in favor of St. John's to 47-37 with nine of Marquette's 23 points coming off the hands of Katie Young. Young also did a number on the Red Storm on the glass, particularly in the second half. She had 10 of her game high 12 rebounds in the second half as Marquette started smothering the life out of St. John's.
Marquette moves to 10-6 and into a tie for fourth place with Villanova. St. John's has lost three in a row and finds themselves a full game behind DePaul and tied for second with Creighton. Sadly, with DePaul's win over Villanova on Tuesday night, Marquette's outside chances of a tie for the Big East crown have evaporated.
Abbie Willenborg Player of the Game: I like seeing things like "game high" and "11th double-double of the season," so of course I'm giving the nod on this one to Katie Young, who was an absolute rock for the Golden Eagles, especially with Katherine Plouffe on the bench. The senior guard had 26 points and 12 rebounds while shooting 9-12, including making all four of her three pointers and all four of her free throws as well.
Clare Barnard Undersung Eagle of the Game: Were it not for eight of Marquette's 16 turnovers, I'd probably be tripping over myself to give this one to Brooklyn Pumroy, particularly for the dagger of a three pointer that punched the deficit down to just seven points at halftime. But, y'know, EIGHT TURNOVERS. So instead, I'll give this to Cristina Bigica. There's not much in the box score to be excited about - 2 points on a pair of free throws, one rebound, one assist, two steals - but when Marquette needed hustle plays to keep things rolling in the second half, there was Bigica. On consecutive possessions, one on offense, one on defense, Bigica got cracked while diving on the floor to try to come up with a loose ball, including the second one right in the head.
Up Next: Marquette heads back home for Senior Night, with Creighton (23-4, 13-2) providing the opposition. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1, so let's see what we can do to pack the Al McGuire Center to send Katherine Plouffe, Katie Young, and Courtney Thomas off in style.