Marquette and Creighton played two games this season. Marquette won both by double digits. They won the second encounter by 24 points in Milwaukee.
But, factual or not, the old adage is that it’s hard to beat a team three times in one season.
That’s generally supposed to refer to one side winning the third encounter after losing the first two. However, on Sunday evening in Connecticut, it merely meant that Marquette did not have an easy time with Creighton in the Big East tournament semifinals. The Golden Eagles never trailed in the game, but they also never led by more than eight and never more than six in the second half before finally prevailing, 64-59. MU is now 19-5 on the season, and they will play in the Big East title game for the fifth straight year.
For the majority of the game, Creighton just wasn’t going away, but they also weren’t threatening to take the lead. Marquette usually had more than a one possession margin on the Bluejays, but as the game wore on, Creighton kept pulling within one possession. Things started getting serious midway through the third quarter when an and-1 by Carly Bachelor cut MU’s lead to just one at 38-37. Selena Lott answered with an and-1 of her own, but when we went to the fourth quarter, it was back down to just a one point game thanks again to Bachelor.
MU would get the lead back to six, and they were keeping it there for a stretch. Camryn Taylor hit a silky smooth jumper with 1:36 to go to make it a 60-54 game, and it looked like maybe we were ready to wrap things up..... but Dearica Pryor scored... and Chloe Marotta missed.... and Jayme Horgan pumpfaked her way open for a three.... and well look at that: 60-59, just under 29 seconds to go.
Here’s the catch.
Creighton had only committed two fouls, and now they had to foul to get Marquette to the line with the shot clock off. It took the Jays 15 seconds of clock to get Selena Lott to the line where she split her throws. Creighton timeout, inbounding down just 2 with 13 seconds to go.
right up until Morgan Maly fumbled the ball to the floor, everyone fell on it, and it was ruled a held ball.
Lauren Van Kleunen got fouled, she sank her throws, four point game, that was that.
I didn’t quite get it across in the recap, but Selena Lott was running wild all game long. She shot 11-for-15 from the field in this game to lead all scorers with 27 points. For kicks, Lott added four rebounds, an assist, a steal, and a block while playing all but one minute of the game. Lauren Van Kleunen had 16 points, and in the first quarter, she became the 31st Marquette player to ever record 1,000 points in their career. Camryn Taylor chipped in 11 points to round out the double digit scorers for the Golden Eagles.
How about some highlights, courtesy of FS1 and GoMarquette.com?
Up Next: The Big East championship game! That’s the good news! The trophy is on the line on Monday night, with tipoff on FS1 coming at 7pm Central time.
The bad news? The other team in the title game is #1 seed and #1 in the AP poll Connecticut. The Huskies beat Villanova in the other semifinal game by the final score of 84-39, and honestly, it wasn’t that close. MU lost both regular season games against the Huskies, but the second one, the game in Storrs in the regular season finale just one week ago, the final was only 63-53 as the Golden Eagles made UConn work for the perfect regular season Big East record.