With less than a minute to play at the Al McGuire Center on Saturday night, it seemed that Marquette would be able to snatch a win away from Wisconsin which had led for most of the game. The Golden Eagles had closed to within one on a Katherine Plouffe basket and a Wisconsin miss on the other end sent the home crowd to its feet. The Badgers fouled Apiew Ojulu who then hit the first shot for the tie. After she missed the second, it seemed that the Golden Eagles might still get the better of the Red Menace when Plouffe came up with the rebound. But KP's tip in missed and the ball found its way back to Wisconsin who called timeout with a scant 15 seconds left on the clock. When play resumed the Badgers burned off enough of the clock and then broke Marquette hearts by scoring with only fractions of a second left on the clock. The heave by Katie Young as time expired came up short and Badger Hate Week came to a very bitter end.
The 29-23 halftime score for the game was deceptive: it might appear that the Badgers had managed to the grind the pace of the match to the grass growing speed of their men's team. However, the truth was that both women's teams were shooting just above 30 percent from the field.
Business picked up in the second half though as Marquette reeled off 9 unanswered points to take a brief lead; however, Wisconsin responded with a 7 point streak of their own. The Badgers lead was only 3 when Young got her fourth foul with twelve minutes left to play. She went to the bench and Wisconsin's lead ballooned to 10 before consecutive threes by Arlesia Morse made things interesting again.
Abbie Willenborg Player of the Game: Plouffe, who led the team with 16 points, scored half of those in the final five as Marquette clawed their way back into it. She also racked up 10 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season.
Clare Barnard Undersung Eagle of the Game: I'm going rogue (or starting a trend) and bestowing this one on the whole team. I may have mentioned Marquette's propensity for turnovers a time or thirty-three before so I have to give kudos when the team keeps the turnovers in single digits (9) while snagging 5 steals.
Up Next: A short bus ride awaits Marquette after finals week, as they head to UW-Milwaukee and the Klotsche Center at 1 pm on Sunday, December 15th.