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Women's Basketball WNIT Round 1 Preview: at Indiana State (20-11)

Marquette gets their WNIT path started tonight in Terre Haute as they take on the Sycamores.

More wins = more chances to see Katherine Plouffe rack up double-doubles.
More wins = more chances to see Katherine Plouffe rack up double-doubles.

When: Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 6pm Central
Where: Hulman Center in Terre Haute, IN
Audio/Visual: Even though the Sycamores haven't had video streaming all year, they will tonight, and it's FREE!  There's also streaming audio, plus live stats.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWBB

After falling flat on their faces in the season finale against Villanova, Marquette was likely headed to the WNIT unless they cashed in an automatic bid to the NCAA championship.  The Golden Eagles squeaked past Villanova in the Big East quarterfinals, but fell into a deep hole early against DePaul in the semfinals, thus putting them into this scenario.

Katherine Plouffe is the center focus for the Golden Eagles, leading the team in both scoring and rebounding, and earning a spot on the all-Big East first team for her efforts this season.  Fellow senior Katie Young finished second on the team in both of those categories and her development as a player was a key component in Marquette locking up the 18th postseason appearance in program history and 15th under head coach Terri Mitchell.

While the Golden Eagles finished fifth in the Big East this season, Indiana State finished tied for the regular season title in the Missouri Valley Conference.  Both the Sycamores and Wichita State finished with identical 14-4 records in league play with Indiana State getting the nod as the top seed in the MVC tournament.  But they fell in the semifinals against #5 seed Drake by a score of 66-58 and thus they host a first round WNIT games.

Senior Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir is 1) a transfer from Memphis 2) the MVC's Newcomer of the Year 3) one of three Sycamores to start all 31 games this season and 4) assists and scoring leader.  Only two ISU players score in double digits on average, but two more are averaging more than nine points per game.  One of those two is junior forward Rachael Mahan, who leads a pack of Sycamores averaging at least 4.5 rebounds a game at 7 per game.