Women's Basketball Big East Game #11 Preview: vs Butler (10-12, 5-6)

Marquette got a uniform refresh this season. Does that mean new pink unis this season? - Maggie Casey/MarquetteImages.com

Regardless of what happens in this game, it will be more fun that last year's Play 4 Kay game against Notre Dame.

When: Saturday, February 8, 2014, at 4pm Central
Where: Al McGuire Center
Audio/Visual: Home games have LIVE FREE VIDEO for you out of towners, and you can add live stats to your experience, too.
Special Promotions: It's Marquette's yearly Play 4 Kay game, so they'll be sporting pink uniforms and raising money to support the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWBB

UPDATE: Here's the uniforms that Marquette will be wearing:

Marquette created separation in the Big East standings in their last outing. They picked up a 62-60 rollercoaster of a win over Seton Hall back on Wednesday night, and moved to 6-4 in league play, The Pirates led by as many as 12 in the middle of the first half, but that lead disipated by halftime, and both teams went into the locker room knotted at 28. With 11:20 left in the game, Marquette had taken their own 12 point lead, but Seton Hall didn't pack up their gear. They dug into the lead, and Brooklyn Pumroy fouled Ka-Deidre Simmons on a layup with 1:22 remaining. Simmons converted the old fashioned three point play, and the lead was suddenly only two.

Katherine Plouffe missed a three pointer on MU's ensuing possession, but the Golden Eagles would catch some breaks. Arlesia Morse forced Simmons to cough the ball up with 34 seconds left, and it seemed like MU might escape with the win. All they had to do was get a shot off late in the shot clock, and SHU would be hard pressed to get a rebound and get a shot of their own off. That didn't happen. Apiew Ojulu lost her handle on it, and Bra`Shey Ali came up with possession. But the Pirates couldn't control the ball, and it slowly bounced out of bounds as time expired. Plouffe led the way for Marquette with 14 points, five rebounds, five assists and a steal.

Since Last We Met

Last Meeting: Marquette won, 61-59
Record: 4-6
Average Points For: 64.2
Average Points Against: 66.5

Butler currently sits in sixth place in the Big East standings, just a half game behind Marquette. The Bulldogs went toe-to-toe with league leader St. John's in their last outing, eventually falling 58-55. That's been the final margin of both of the SJU-BU games this season, and after Marquette barely escaped with a 2 point win without Katherine Plouffe back on December 28th, there's no doubt that the Bulldogs will come to play tomorrow afternoon.

The loss to the Red Storm snapped a two game winning streak for Butler. The Bulldogs have struggled on the offensive end over their last 10 contests, only shooting better than 40% on four occasions. Junior center Liz Stratman has cemented herself atop the Big East's block leaders list, averaging 2.5 per game after recording five of Butler's 10 swats against the Golden Eagles in December.

As is the case with most Marquette games, rebounding will be important. The Golden Eagles have the second best rebounding margin in the country at +13.5 per game. What makes this paramount against the Bulldogs is that Butler is 0-8 when being outrebounded this season, including their home loss to Marquette.

Butler's do-it-all senior forward, Darress McClung, is on her way to matching her preseason all-conference team spot with a postseason version. She leads the Bulldogs with 14.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. That ranks her in the top 10 in the conference in both categories. Stratman brings it on the offensive end, too, ranking second behind McClung in both categories. Taylor Schippers and Mandy McDivitt are going to be willing to uncork it from behind the arc, with both women combining to average 10 three point attempts per game. They both shoot better than 35% from back there, so it will be in Marquette's best interest to limit their contributions and make sure that they don't get hot.

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