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Women's Basketball: Big East Game 2 Preview: vs Villanova (9-2, 0-1 Big East)

Before the men's Big East season gets started, the women's team has their home opener in a New Year's Eve matinee.

Katie Young has put together a stellar senior campaign, averaging 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Katie Young has put together a stellar senior campaign, averaging 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Maggie Bean/

When: Tuesday, December 31, 2013, at noon Central
Where: Al McGuire Center
Audio/Visual: It's a home game, so that means FREE VIDEO STREAMING! Live stats will be available here.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWBB

Let's start out with the good news, shall we?

That's a tweet from senior forward Katherine Plouffe, who missed Marquette's last three games due to a family issue back in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and then one from junior center Chelsie Butler. It would appear that Marquette's all-conference forward and the Big East's most dynamic combination of scoring and rebounding has returned to Milwaukee just in time for the Golden Eagles' home opener.

That said, outside of the first 8 minutes and the last minute of regulation against Oral Roberts, the Golden Eagles (10-2, 1-0) have managed to get by without Plouffe, winning all three games.. Against ORU and Denver, it was Arlesia Morse coming off the bench to provide piles of scoring. Against Butler in the Big East opener, it was a team effort with three different players scoring 11 points each to tie for the team lead, but the star performer was Lauren Tibbs. The redshirt sophomore has gotten the starting nod in Plouffe's absence, and she's responded about as well as you could expect. Tibbs is averaging 10.7 points and 9.7 rebounds in the three games that Plouffe missed, including her first career double-double against Denver. Even more impressively, Tibbs called her double-double in a pre-game conversation with head coach Terri Mitchell.

The Wildcats are familiar with not playing at home this season, as they've only played two games on the Main Line. They've built a gaudy record on the back of a not outstanding schedule, but they still had to win games away from home. They suffered just their second setback of the season in their last game, their Big East opener at Creighton. Head coach Harry Perretta has his team functioning as a unit, with their leading scorers, Devon Kane and Caroline Coyer, averaging just less than 11 points per game. Sophomore forward Kavuuna Edwards leads VU in rebounding, grabbing 6.1 caroms per contest. Kane and Coyer both handle the distribution duties, as they both average exactly 4.6 assists per game.

As a bonus, let's all watch what happened the last time that Villanova visited the Al McGuire Center!

That buzzer beating bomb from Katie Young was the fourth of five straight wins by Marquette against Villanova.