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Marquette Women's Basketball Weekend Preview: vs Villanova & vs Georgetown

We turn to the second half of the Big East schedule as the Golden Eagles continue to look for their first conference win of the season.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

We have just two weekend of home games left in the conference schedule, just one more after this weekend.  We're at the midway point of the league schedule, and Marquette finds themselves without a win.  They've had a few close ones: home against Xavier, Butler, and Providence, as well as on the road against a good St. John's team and Georgetown as well.

The season is, essentially, lost at this point.  But I think it will be an interesting test of Carolyn Kieger's coaching, both for this season and going forward, to see how she handles the remaining nine games of the regular season.  It's the second time through the Big East.  She's gotten an idea on how to deal with each team, and how each team deals with her squad as well.  Can Kieger and the Golden Eagles find a way to nick a few wins here and there to start building some positive blocks towards next season?  I would certainly like to see that happen, and they get their first chance tonight at the Al McGuire Center.

Big East Game #10: vs Villanova (12-9, 6-3 Big East)

When: Friday, January 30, 2015, at 7pm
Where: Al McGuire Center
Audio/Visual: Home games mean free streaming video, plus live stats.
Special Promotions: Students, get ready for "Build Your Own Cookie Night," plus it's Alumni Weekend.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWBB

When last we saw the Wildcats, they picked up their fourth straight win by defeating the Golden Eagles.  That streak would last two more games before being snapped on a road trip to Butler.  They responded by winning three of their next four after that, with only a home defeat against first place Seton Hall ruining their mood.

Marquette's trip to Pennsylvania was over in a hurry.  The Wildcats jumped out to a 22-6 lead over the first 10 minutes and were up 43-18 at the half.  The big deal was the three-point shooting for VU.  They hit on 10 of their 17 tries in the opening frame, and even though they cooled way off in the second half, the game was essentially over at that point, because the Golden Eagles aren't constructed to be able to shoot their way back into the game.

The Wildcats struggled to find a regular rotation through their non-conference schedule, which probably explains their erratic play.  But, since the start of conference play, Villanova has used the same starting lineup in eight of their nine games as the team has finally gotten back to full health.  Even though the lineup has solidified, it's still Emily Leer and Caroline Coyer leading the team in scoring.  But, even though the quality of opponents has gone up, Leer and Coyer's scoring has gone up, too.  Both women are averaging over 12 points a game over the course of the season, but in league games, those averages are both over 14 points per game.  Coyer's also coming through for the team on the glass against Big East opponents, leading everyone with six rebounds per game.

Big East Game #11: vs Georgetown (4-17, 2-7 Big East)

When: Sunday, February 1, 2015, at 2pm
Where: Al McGuire Center
Audio/Visual: The Big East Digital Network has the streaming broadcast, plus there's live stats.
Special Promotions: Alumni Weekend continues, plus it's Sunday Funday with buy 1, get 1 general admission tickets.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWBB

As you can probably figure out, Marquette is just one of the two wins that the Hoyas have picked up thus far this season in league play.  The other one was Providence, which also came in Washington, D.C., just seven days after they defeated the Golden Eagles.  Since then, they've lost five straight and they'll face DePaul on Friday night before heading north to Milwaukee.

While Georgetown doesn't have the record to show it, they've been forcing teams into uncomfortable situations since Marquette last saw them.  During their current losing streak, they dropped three road games by single digit margins and in their last outing, they pushed Seton Hall to overtime before the Pirates ran away and hid during the extra session.  During the first meeting this season, Marquette jumped out to an early lead before the Hoyas came storming back to take the 83-76 win.  Odds are that they'll be confident that they can come to Milwaukee to get a win.

As was the case a few weeks back, Dorothy Adomako is the key for the Hoyas.  She's leading them in points (13.6) and rebounds (7.3), although Dominique Vitalis is right behind her in rebounding category with 6.6 per game and she's the second leading scorer at 9.2 points per contest.  Katie McCormick is the closest thing to a quality shooter that Georgetown has, hitting on just under 35% of her three-point attempts, although Brittany Horne has just one fewer attempt and a much lower shooting percentage at 28.7% from long range.