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2019 Big East Women’s Basketball Semifinals Preview: #1 Marquette vs #4 Georgetown

The Golden Eagles and the Hoyas tangle for a spot in the championship game.

NCAA Basketball: DePaul at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports


#1 Marquette Golden Eagles (25-6, 15-3 Big East) vs #4 Georgetown Hoyas (16-14, 9-9 Big East)

Date: Monday, March 11, 2019
Time: 3pm Central
Location: Wintrust Arena, Chicago, IL
Television: FS1
Streaming: Fox Sports Go
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWBB
All-Time Series: Marquette leads, 17-4
Season Series: Marquette won, 2-0

How They Got Here: Marquette picked up an easy 88-57 victory over #9 seed St. John’s in the quarterfinals, led by a 20/13/5/1/3 performance from Natisha Hiedeman. Georgetown’s quarterfinal victory was a little more interesting, as the Hoyas and Villanova combined to shoot 47% on three-pointers across the span of 40 minutes. Georgetown trailed 42-38 at the half but outscored VU 29-14 in the third quarter to hold an 11 point lead going into the final 10 minutes. Villanova made a push, but it took them til less than a minute left to cut the lead to only six, and Georgetown made juuuuuust enough free throws and got stops to put the win away.

I’m not going to lie to you here. I definitely would have preferred to see Villanova make their way through to the semifinals. Marquette ripped through the Wildcats twice this season, winning by 36 on the road and 38 at home. Georgetown, on the other hand..... whoooo. The Hoyas opened up a 14 point lead over the first 14 minutes of the game in DC.... and that involved MU taking that long to score 11 points. Somehow, the Golden Eagles rallied to win, 72-62. In the return bout in Milwaukee, the Golden Eagles committed 11 second half turnovers and had to hang on to win, 59-52. The Hoyas are, for whatever reason, a terrible matchup for Marquette, including completely whipsawing an undefeated in Big East play to that point MU team last season, and I’d rather not have to deal with them again this year.

But sometimes we just don’t get what we want.

If Marquette plays with the vim and vigor that they did on Sunday against St. John’s, they should probably be okay against the Hoyas. St. John’s has given MU fits this season, too, and the Golden Eagles absolutely wrecked the Red Storm in the quarterfinals. Georgetown is, generally speaking, not a good shooting team. They’re #302 in the country per in two-point shooting and #229 in three-point shooting. That lands them at #291 in effective field goal percentage. What I’m saying here is that I wouldn’t expect them to shoot 8-for-14 on threes for a second straight game. That might the right number of long range attempts as they don’t particularly like shooting from back there, but don’t expect a 57% accuracy rate again.

Quite honestly, there’s not much that Georgetown is particularly good at on offense other than not turning the ball over. That’s not a good thing for Marquette, since the Golden Eagles love getting into transition, but it’s fine. They are a pretty good defensive squad, though, ranking #60 in the country in HHS’s defensive rating. Georgetown defends the paint pretty well, ranking #45 in the country in two-point defense. That’s generally speaking going to be a problem for Marquette, since a lot of their offense is dictated by getting into the paint one way or another. Georgetown does let you shoot a bajillion threes, and Marquette is a great three-point shooting team, ranking #12 in the country in that department. If Natisha Hiedeman and Selena Lott are their usually accurate selves, that should give MU an advantage on offense.

The winner of this game moves on to Tuesday’s championship game, but as of this writing, we have no idea who will be in the other semifinal. It looks like it’s going to be DePaul, as they’re up 15 on Providence at halftime of their quarterfinal game, but the last quarterfinal game between Butler and Creighton won’t get going until the DePaul/Providence game ends.