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UGH. Cincinnati 54, Marquette 52

Oh, this is a bad look.

Sarina Simmons had a game high 19 points in a losing effort against Cincinnati.
Sarina Simmons had a game high 19 points in a losing effort against Cincinnati.

Well, this is what I get for being an optimist.

Marquette scored their last field goal of the game with 7:39 remaining on a Brooklyn Pumroy layup. It gave Marquette a 50-46 lead, which causes me to ask which is worse: Cincinnati winning by only scoring eight points in the last 7:39 including a Dayeesha Hollins layup at the buzzer, or Marquette only getting a pair of Sarina Simmons free throws after the Pumroy layup?

I can't even say that turnovers were the problem here, because honestly, 18 turnovers is actually better than average for this year's team. Yes, the tempo-free rate has it just one percentage point short of their season average, but I'm trying to find an upside here.

What did cause a problem was letting the previously winless in the Big East Bearcats shoot 22 free throws, or more importantly, shoot 14 more free throws than the Golden Eagles. It's a nearly 30 point difference in free throw rate between the two teams. You're not going to win a lot of games, much less close games by letting your opponent get that many more chances at free points.

Abbie Willenborg Player Of The Game: Five blocks gets anyone's attention. When you combine that with 19 points, three rebounds, two assists, and two steals, you get an award. In this case, that's Sarina Simmons.

Clare Barnard Undersung Eagle Of The Game: Lauren Tibbs had a bucket, three rebounds and a block in just 11 minutes off the bench. More importantly: no turnovers.

Up Next: Marquette tries to rebound from a flat out bummer of a loss by... [looks at schedule] aw, crap. #2 Notre Dame brings their 23-1 record to the Al McGuire Center on Sunday for a 1:30 tipoff that will be televised on ESPN2.