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Marquette Women's Basketball Can't Hold On To Two Leads On The Road Against Georgetown

An 8-0 lead to open the game ended up not helping the Golden Eagles as they lost their first Big East road game to the Hoyas, 83-76.

Arlesia Morse had a game high 25 points in Marquette's losing effort.
Arlesia Morse had a game high 25 points in Marquette's losing effort.

In our Weekend Preview for Marquette women's basketball, we briefly touched on the lousy starts that the team had gotten out to as of late.  I don't know if it was the luck of the draw or an actual point of emphasis from head coach Carolyn Kieger, but MU jumped out to an 8-0 lead against Georgetown on Friday night.  The outburst, which eventually blossomed to 12-3 after just two and a half minutes, was powered by freshman guard Kenisha Bell.  She had seven of MU's first 12 points, plus an assist, two rebounds, and a steal.

And yet, even with this explosive start, Marquette was eventually doomed.  The Hoyas would rally, first to tie the game late in the first half after Marquette would lead by as many as 13 on multiple occasions, and then to take the lead.  Georgetown pushed their own first half margin to as high as eight on a pair of free throws by Brittany Horne with 1:44 left in the frame before things settled at five at the break.

With Cristina Bigica freed from two foul purgatory (she started but only played three first half minutes), Marquette was able to readjust in the second half.  The halftime lead for GU would eventually be doubled before MU got things under control, but with 9:39 remaining, a three pointer from - guess who - Bigica gave the Golden Eagles their first lead after intermission.  That triple was part of a 13-0 by Marquette that gave them a five point lead when it was done, but there were still nearly nine minutes left in the game.

A 10-0 Hoyas run that spanned nearly three late game minutes turned things from a 69-68 MU lead with 4:35 left to a 78-69 Georgetown mark with 1:38 remaining, and without dependable three point shooting on the roster, Marquette was hosed.

It was a turnover plagued game (both sides coughed it up more than one-fifth of the time) and neither team shot very well, either, with MU's 44.6% eFG% being the best of the two.  The difference comes in on offensive rebounding, where Georgetown snagged 46% of their misses against just 32% for Marquette.

MU falls to 0-2 in league play and 4-9 overall.  The win snaps a 10 game losing streak for the Hoyas, who now sit at 1-1 in Big East contests and 3-11 overall.

Abbie Willenborg Player of the Game: I was being slightly unfair when I said MU didn't have dependable three point shooting on the team.  While that's true when you take the full season into account, it wasn't true in this game.  Arlesia Morse hit five of MU's six three pointers in just 10 tries en route to a game high 25 points.  She also had eight rebounds to help pad her team lead in that category, plus she chipped in two assists and a steal.  Only one turnover too, which makes this extra easy to pick in her favor.

Clare Barnard Undersung Eagle of the Game: Lauren Tibbs played 6 minutes, knocked down both of her shots, grabbed two rebounds, and didn't have any of Marquette's 20 turnovers.  That gets a smiley face sticker from us.  Side note: Hannah Grim was one turnover away from notching a 14 Trillion.

Up Next: Whew, got this done just in time.  Marquette's in Villanova, PA, on Sunday to tangle with Villanova.  Didn't see that one coming, did you?  The Wildcats are 6-7 (1-1 Big East) after kicking #25 DePaul in the teeth in the Pavilion on Friday night.  VU came away with a 79-76 win in overtime as they appear to have the lineup that they actually want to play healthy and on the court.