The Big East women's basketball tournament continues this afternoon with the two semifinal games. Both games will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1. If you like to keep track of stats along the way, you can find live stats for the games on the Big East's Tournament Central page.
Let's take a look at the semifinal match ups and see how all four teams advanced to this point.
GAME 1: #2 St. John's vs #3 Creighton
When: 3pm Central
Season Series: Split 1-1 (SJU won in NY, 67-48 and CU won in Omaha, 65-62)
St. John's advanced to the semifinals with a 66-60 win over Seton Hall yesterday. Aliyyah Handford had 24 points to lead the Red Storm. Handford went 5-6 from the field in the first half and scored 12 points, but St. John's only led by 1 at intermission.
Handford had the first four points of the second half, and Amber Thompson tacked on to push the lead to seven points just 70 seconds in. The lead ballooned to 10 points on two occasions, but after the last one, St. John's couldn't stop committing turnovers and fouls. Seton Hall had a 8-0 run that had six straight free throws from Ka-Deidre Simmons and a bucket from Alexis Brown that cut the lead to two with 4:21 to play. Brown would cut the lead to two again with just 27 seconds to play, but Handford and Briana Brown drained free throws and Seton Hall couldn't convert buckets to keep themselves in the game as the remaining time evaporated.
Creighton won their quarterfinal game against Butler by the final score of 61-52. Sarah Nelson led the Bluejays with 21 points, as they had to overcome a 25 point effort from the Bulldogs' Daress McClung.
It looked like Creighton might be taking control late in the first half as they took a seven point lead on a McKenzie Fujan three pointer. That's when Butler ripped off an 8-0 run to take a brief lead, but a MC McCrory buzzer beater gave the Bluejays a 1 point advantage at the break.
That bucket got McCrory rolling, as she scored eight of Creighton's first 17 points in the second half, giving the Jays a 38-29 lead. Butler wasn't going to go away easily though, but they never really cut into the lead either, only getting as close as five points on a Lexus Murray bucket with just under seven minutes to play.
GAME 2: #1 DePaul vs #5 Marquette
When: 5:30pm Central
Season Series: Split 1-1 (DPU won in Chicago, 91-85 and MU won in Milwaukee, 80-74)
Top seeded DePaul ran away from Georgetown in the quarterfinal round, winning 78-54. The Blue Demons had four players score in double digits, with both Megan Rogowski and Megan Podkowa scoring 17 to lead the way.
Things weren't always solid for DePaul, as the Hoyas had an 18-14 lead with just under nine minutes left in the first half. An 11-0 run by DePaul capped off by a Jessica January layup tipped things in favor of the Blue Demons, and DePaul closed out the half on an 19-4 run to take firm control of the game. In case things were still in doubt with an 11 point DePaul lead at the half, the Blue Demons ripped off the first 10 points of the second half, and that was that.
The Marquette-Villanova game was a completely different story. In the first half, Marquette opened up leads of 13-8 and 21-12. But Villanova fired back with a 13-6 run to end the half, with a Devon Kane layup at the buzzer pulling the Wildcats within just two points.
Katherine Plouffe scored six of Marquette's first eight points in the second half as the Golden Eagles took a 35-30 lead with 14:23 left to play, and Apiew Ojulu pushed the lead to nine with a bucket at the midway point of the second half. Villanova seemed to have Marquette's number all season, and that was the case again here. The Wildcats fired back with a 14-4 run that left them with a one point lead. Taylor Holeman had five of the points on the run, including the last bucket, and noted Marquette killer Caroline Coyer had three buckets along the way as well.
Another bucket from Coyer gave the Wildcats a two point lead with just 85 seconds left, and when Plouffe split a pair of free throws with 1:06 remaining, things got interesting fast. Plouffe missed the back end, and Marquette proceeded to grab four offensive rebounds in the next eight seconds before Ashley Santos turned it over. Villanova burned some clock before turning to Coyer again, but she missed, and Plouffe snagged the rebound. That quickly became a theme as Plouffe grabbed Arlesia Morse's miss on the other end and calmly drained a pair of free throws to flip the lead back to Marquette with 18 seconds left.
From there, Marquette threw a block party. Plouffe blocked Coyer's attempt at taking the lead back, and after Santos hit two freebies as Nova fouled to extend the game, Brooklyn Pumroy tipped Coyer's try at a tying threeball, and Marquette escaped 56-53. Plouffe led Marquette with 14 points and 13 rebounds, her 12th double-double of the season. Villanova was led by 19 points from Devon Kane.