Camryn Taylor scored early in the second quarter to give Marquette a 14-11 lead after the Golden Eagles had held the ranked Blue Demons to a mere nine points in the first quarter. It was an impressive defensive performance by the Golden Eagles, given that DePaul has one of the most prolific offenses in the country. The problem was that along the way in the first quarter, Marquette had coughed up the ball ELEVEN TIMES, so they were only leading 12-9 after 10 minutes.
That ain’t gonna cut it against the #16 team in the country, and it’s definitely not going to cut it against the #16 team in the country in their barn.
And so, without an extra maybe four or six points in their pocket — say they cut the turnovers in half and then only score on two or three of those possessions — MU had a razor thin advantage and needed to get the exact same defensive performance for another 30 minutes if they were going to have a shot at the upset in Lincoln Park.
It, uh, didn’t happen.
After DePaul shot just 16.7% from the field in the first quarter, they cranked up the effectiveness. The Blue Demons shot 55.6% for the rest of the game, including 8-of-16 from downtown, and as a result, #16 DePaul beat Marquette, 89-71. Oh, and Marquette’s 15 turnovers in the remaining three quarters of the game didn’t help, either.
There’s not really much to say about what happened across the final 30 minutes of the game. DePaul remembered that they’re really good on offense and started playing like it. As a result, they slowly pulled away from a team that they’re clearly better than at this point. The end. The lead was eight at the half and 14 at the end of the third. There was never really any huge gigantic run that dictated the final outcome of the game, or if there was, it certainly didn’t feel like it. DePaul just chunked away at the lead, slowly pushing it further and further away from Marquette.
Yeah, it kind of stinks that MU coughed it up on 33% of their possessions. Yeah, it kind of stinks that Marquette actually outshot DePaul in terms of effective field goal percentage in this game, 53.7% to 52.1%, but because the Golden Eagles had 18 fewer field goal attempts as a result of the turnovers, they couldn't take advantage of that admittedly slim shooting margin.
It’s one of 18 games in Big East play, and it’s the road game against the unanimous favorite to win the league. It was supposed to be a loss for Marquette, if you want to think about it that way, so it is what it is, and hopefully Megan Duffy can rally the troops past it.
Up Next: Marquette has something of a quick turnaround for their next game. They’ll be back out on the road for their first full weekend of league action starting this coming Friday night when they’ll stop in to see Creighton (1-0 in the league with a trip to Villanova on Tuesday) out in Omaha. That will be followed with a Sunday afternoon contest way over on the east coast against Providence (0-1, with a trip to Georgetown coming up on Tuesday). I presume, one way or another with Connecticut joining the league next season, that this will be the last time that Marquette has to deal with this hellscape of a road trip.