Powered by 15 points from Arleisa Morse and a double-double from Kenisha Bell, Marquette women's basketball picked up a 72-64 win over Providence on Friday night. The win is the second in a row for the Golden Eagles, and it moves them to 4-12 in Big East play this season. The win breaks the odd string that Marquette was pulling off in the second trip through the conference, as they had been losing their Friday night games before winning their Sunday afternoon contest.
Things didn't get started well for the Golden Eagles on Friday night, as they fell into a 10-5 hole after the first six minutes. MU stayed within striking distance of the Friars for most of the first half, but a 8-0 run with four points from Tori Rule turned it into a 26-17 lead with 5:44 left in the opening frame. A matching 8-0 run from Marquette was capped off by Lauren Tibbs finishing an old fashioned three point play, and it was only a two possession game at the half.
Morse scored the first two buckets of the second half and Bell had the next two, including a triple, and suddenly MU found themselves with a five point lead with just 2:30 rolled off the clock after halftime. Marquette would never run away with the game, but they also never led by less than three points for the rest of the half. Morse scored 12 of her 15 after the break, and Marquette got a big final 20 minutes from Chelsie Butler, who knocked in all 11 of her points after intermission. Butler missed both of her shots in the first half, but went 4-7 including a three-pointer after the break and burying both of her free throws.
Speaking of free throws, it was Marquette making five of six in the final two minutes that locked up the game for the Golden Eagles. Amazingly, none of the six came from Morse, who leads the country in free throw percentage this season. Tia Elbert had a pair, and Bell made three of the last four. Her split came with Marquette leading by five with 49 seconds left, but even just moving the margin to six points was enough to not allow Providence to have a chance in the waning moments.
Up Next: It's Sunday now when this is getting posted, so Marquette is already in the middle of shootaround as they look to win a third straight game for the first time this season. They'll play Creighton at 1pm Central this afternoon. The Bluejays failed on a late comeback bid against DePaul on Friday night, which snapped their six game winning streak.