Following Saturday night's 2 point loss to St. John's, Marquette sits at 3-2 in Big East play. They have three road wins, and two home losses. On top of that, the margin of four of the games was just two points. Is there much in the world more frustrating to watch than a team gutting out close victories on the road and then not being able to do the same at home? Does it get more or less frustrating when Marquette has the 2nd best attendance average in the league?
In this particular case, this was a rough game to watch, but you probably guessed that from the sub-50 digits in the final score. The teams combined to turn the ball over 47 times, which means that nearly one-third of possessions regardless of team ended with an offensive foul, a errant pass sailing out of bounds, or just a flat out steal. Man, if only there were more than 19 total steals. Then you could at least be excited about strong defensive performances from either side.
In the preview for this game, I touched on St. John's and their efforts around the three point line. St. John's took just six tries behind the arc, and made two. That's right on line with their usual efforts: They don't take a lot of threes, but they make a solid amount of them. St. John's is also the best in the Big East at defending the three point line, and they did a number on Marquette. The first (and only, by the way) made three ball of the game came with just 55 seconds remaining and it came from an unlikely source: Katherine Plouffe. The senior made just her third long range bucket of the year, but as was the case with the first two, it was in a situation where Marquette desperately needed it. Plouffe's three pulled Marquette within one point at 48-47, but they would be unable to find the bottom of the net again.
Plouffe and Katie Young were their regularly scheduled excellent selves for Marquette. Both women recorded a double-double, with Plouffe leading in points with 18 and Young leading in rebounds with 11. The Red Storm were led by 14 points from both Aliyyah Handford and Danaejah Grant.
Abbie Willenborg Player of the Game: This one's going to Katie Young. While she lost her spot in the starting lineup for this game to Chelsie Butler, it didn't affect how she played. She had the previously mentioned double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, and also chipped in two assists and three steals. Young also had just one turnover, which is why she gets the Abbie here instead of KP and her six turnovers.
Clare Barnard Undersung Eagle of the Game: Oh, boy, I dunno about this. There's not a lot to like. With so many turnovers, that starts eliminating people (Cristina Bigica with eight) and then when you have someone without a turnover, then they didn't impact the game at all (Chelsie Butler with two misses and a steal in nine minutes). So, I'm going to go with whoever put the deal together to get ads on the free live video stream of the women's basketball games. It's just in the audio, but it's a couple extra bucks in the athletic department coffers, so nice job by you guys.
Up Next: Marquette takes their third crack at winning their first home game of 2014 on Tuesday night. Providence provides the opposition, and the Friars are currently 6-11 overall and 1-5 in league play.