When the Big East announced the men’s basketball conference schedule last week, we all knew it was only a matter of time before the women’s basketball league schedule was put out into the ether.
That day was Thursday, and now we know the order and pathway for the 18 game league schedule for Marquette Golden Eagles in Megan Duffy’s first season as head coach.
As is tradition at this point, the Big East is running the usual Friday/Sunday sets of games with travel partners. Marquette will either hit the road stay at home with DePaul every weekend, and the two teams will trade opponents after Friday night’s contests. The catch this year is where the two games against the Blue Demons falls into place. The Big East opted to put the Marquette/DePaul games at the front and back of the schedule, meaning both squads will trail a half game behind in the standings for the entirety of the first swing through the league, and then will slowly go a half game ahead of everyone else before the final weekend of the season.
It’s really minor book keeping stuff, but with DePaul at both ends, it means that Marquette has no extra days off in the 18 game slate. It’s Friday and Sunday all the way down for eight straight weeks.
15 of MU’s 18 games will be streamed on the Big East Digital Network. The other three will be televised on FS2. Two of them — at Butler and at Seton Hall — will be on the road, while the third — the regular season finale against DePaul — will be at home.
The Golden Eagles will start the conference schedule with three straight road games. They actually caught a little bit of luck here, as they’ll make the worst road trip in the league 1) right out of the gate and 2) while classes are still in Winter Break. That’s the Creighton/Providence trip, and it’s in that order this season. Going in that order — Omaha on Friday night, Providence on Sunday afternoon — is actually the worst version of the worst road trip in the league, since that means you lose an hour by way of time zones in transit after Friday’s game. At least there won’t be any pressure of staying caught up on classwork on the trip.
Marquette will have a four game homestand in the exact middle of the schedule. Games 8 through 11 are all at home, which is kind of a nice bonus to make up for the opening road trip and the split of the DePaul games.
As luck would have it, the three straight games on the road to start the league schedule creates a bit of a vacancy at the McGuire Center. We already knew that Marquette would play four straight road games in the non-conference schedule before closing with one final home game right before Christmas. That home game against Belmont is now Marquette’s only home game between Thanksgiving and January 10th when St. John’s comes to the McGuire Center for the first home conference game. Luck of the draw more than anything else, I suppose. I have no idea if that makes things easier or harder for Duffy in her first season, but I guess we’ll find out.
Marquette is the two-time reigning and defending Big East regular season champion... but they will probably not be the preseason pick to win the league. For her first season in charge of the Golden Eagles, Duffy has just five players back from last year’s active roster. No one averaged more than eight points per game, nor more than four rebounds per game, nor more than two assists per game. No matter if it was Carolyn Kieger, now the head coach at Penn State, or if it was Megan Duffy, this was always going to be an interesting season for Marquette women’s hoops. Duffy will have six freshmen on her roster, so a lot of them if not all of them are going to get thrown into the fire pretty quickly.
MU opens the regular season on Tuesday, November 5th, when they host Morgan State. The first four games of the season and five of the first six are all at home.
Here’s the full rundown for the league slate this season.
2019-20 Marquette Women’s Basketball Big East Schedule
|Sunday, Dec. 29||at DePaul||4:00 PM||Big East Digital Network|
|Fri., Jan. 3||at Creighton||7:00 PM||Big East Digital Network|
|Sun., Jan. 5||at Providence||12:00 PM||Big East Digital Network|
|Fri., Jan. 10||St. John's||7:00 PM||Big East Digital Network|
|Sun., Jan. 12||Seton Hall||2:00 PM||Big East Digital Network|
|Fri., Jan. 17||at Butler||5:30 PM||FS2|
|Sun., Jan. 19||at Xavier||1:00 PM||Big East Digital Network|
|Fri., Jan. 24||Georgetown||11:30 AM||Big East Digital Network|
|Sun., Jan. 26||Villanova||2:00 PM||Big East Digital Network|
|Fri., Jan. 31||Providence||7:00 PM||Big East Digital Network|
|Sun., Feb. 2||Creighton||2:00 PM||Big East Digital Network|
|Fri., Feb. 7||at Seton Hall||6:00 PM||FS2|
|Sun., Feb. 9||at St. John's||1:00 PM||Big East Digital Network|
|Fri., Feb. 14||Xavier||7:00 PM||Big East Digital Network|
|Sun., Feb. 16||Butler||2:00 PM||Big East Digital Network|
|Fri., Feb. 21||at Villanova||6:00 PM||Big East Digital Network|
|Sun., Feb. 23||at Georgetown||1:00 PM||Big East Digital Network|
|Sun., Mar. 1||DePaul||2:00 PM||FS2|