Winning just their second home game since Big East play got underway, Marquette wrapped up a difficult regular season Monday evening with a decisive victory over Cincinnati.
The Bearcats scored the first basket of the match-up, but Arlesia Morse then hit the first of her four three pointers for the night to give the Golden Eagles the lead. Cincinnati's Tiffany Turner managed to tie to game going 1 of 2 from on her free throws, but Sarina Simmons then countered with her own three pointer to give Marquette the lead for good.
After scoring nine unanswered points, the Bearcats pulled to within four points with just under four minutes in the half. But they cooled off and but only scored off free throws as the clock wound down. Meanwhile, the Eagles scored eight, including a basket Katie Young converted off a last second throw-in that would be the envy of the Baylor men's team for a 33-25 halftime lead and control of the game.
Katherine Plouffe, who did not score in the first half, promptly blew up in the second scoring a team leading 20 points. She passed the 1,000 point career mark joining Simmons who reached the mark two weeks ago in a home loss to St. John's. Morse and Simmons scored 17 and 14 respectively. Cincinnati's leading scorer on the season, Dayesha Hollins, nearly doubled her average by scoring 29 and accounted for half of the Bearcats' points.
With the 72-58 win, Terri Mitchell's squad finished the regular season 15-14 overall and 7-9 in Big East games: both records are improvements from last season. While Marquette is tied with Rutgers for ninth in the conference standings, they lose the tie breaker and will be seeded 10th narrowly missing out on a first round bye in the conference tournament.
Abbie Willenborg Player Of The Game: Sarina Simmons' 14 points may not have been the most for the team, but 5 assists, 2 steals, a block, and plain old sentiment for the team's lone senior swings the vote in her favor.
Clare Barnard Undersung Eagle Of The Game: It's hard to be undersung when you're the game's leading scorer, but Katherine Plouffe did just that: when she reached 1,000 career points the achievement went unannounced in the building.
Up Next: The first round of the Big East Championship. The Golden Eagles will take on the 0-16 in conference play Pittsburgh Panthers at 7 pm Friday.
Below: Highlights and comments from Mitchell, Plouffe, and Morse.