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2020 Big East Women’s Basketball Tournament Championship Preview: #1 DePaul vs #2 Marquette

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The Golden Eagles and the Blue Demons face off in the title game for the fourth straight season.

DePaul v Xavier Getty Images

2020 Big East Women’s Basketball Tournament

Championship

#1 DePaul Blue Demons (27-5, 15-3 Big East) vs #2 Marquette Golden Eagles (24-7, 13-5 Big East)

Date: Monday, March 9, 2020
Time: 7pm Central
Location: Wintrust Arena, Chicago, IL
Television: FS1
Streaming: Fox Sports Go
Live Stats: Stat Broadcast
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWBB
All Time Series: DePaul leads, 46-29.
Current Streak: Marquette has won three of the last five meetings.
Season Series: The two teams split, with DePaul winning in Lincoln Park in Game #1 of the league schedule, and Marquette winning in Milwaukee in Game #18 of the schedule.

I’ll be honest with you: I have no idea what to expect from this game.

Marquette and DePaul met in Game #1 and Game #18 of the Big East schedule. As such, it’s not surprising to see that the Golden Eagles were a much different team in meeting #2 relative to the first encounter. Look no further than the fact that the Golden Eagles were up 22 in the third quarter at the McGuire Center before finally holding on for the 90-83 final score.

Part of the reason why Marquette went up big and narrowly won is that DePaul forgot how to hit three-pointers through the first three quarters. HerHoopStats.com says that DePaul ranks #51 in the country in terms of their three-point shooting accuracy at 34.4%, but they were just 4-for-19 in the first 30 minutes. In the final 10? 7-for-11, a whopping 64%. It makes sense that the Blue Demons just kept shooting through their problem, as head coach Doug Bruno wants them to shoot lots of threes. HHS has DePaul at #11 in three point rate, meaning there’s only 10 teams in the country that get more three-pointers as a function of their offense.

Stopping the threes means stopping Kelly Campbell. DePaul’s point guard doesn’t score much, just 8.6 points per game. However, she is knocking down 45% of her long range shots, the only one on the team north of 37%. Campbell also averaging 8.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists this season. She had 15 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, and four steals in the regular season finale, including a 5-for-8 mark from downtown. That’s pretty much exactly the opposite of what you want to see your team allow her to do, so that’s something that the Golden Eagles will need to work on here.

In the eyes of the Big East coaches, though, Campbell’s not Marquette’s biggest problem. That’s all-Big East First Teamer Chante Stonewall. The Golden Eagles contained the Illinois native at the McGuire Center, only “allowing” her to get 12 points, seven rebounds, and three assists. Stonewall leads the Blue Demons, who were ranked #18 in the country in last week’s AP poll, in scoring at 17.2 points per game. At 29%, she really can’t shoot from the outside, so getting her comfortable behind the arc isn’t the worst thing to see.