2022 Big East Women’s Basketball Tournament
#4 DePaul Blue Demons (22-9, 14-6 Big East) vs #5 Marquette Golden Eagles (20-9, 13-7 Big East)
Date: Saturday, March 5, 2022
Time: 1:30pm Central
Location: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut
Television: FS2, with John Fanta, Kim Adams, and Meghan Caffrey calling the action
Live Stats: Stat Broadcast
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWBB
Season Series: Split 1-1, home wins for each
All-Time Series: DePaul leads, 31-49.
Remember when Marquette/DePaul was the Big East tournament championship game for four straight seasons? 2017 through 2020, Marquette/DePaul, every single time. In fact, this quarterfinal game is kicking off Marquette’s attempt to reach their sixth consecutive Big East title game, as the Golden Eagles faced off against Connecticut in the final last season.
Marquette and DePaul split their two contests this season. Marquette got the win in the first meeting, shaking off a waved off buzzer beater after coughing up an 11 point lead to win 88-85 in overtime at the McGuire Center. That was on January 13th, and the second meeting came down in Chicago about a month later. DePaul took the 77-66 win in that one at Wintrust Arena as the Blue Demons blowing out to a 28-17 lead after 10 minutes and 46-28 at one point in the first half. The biggest DePaul lead came with 11:18 remaining in the game, but the Golden Eagles carved 14 points off that 25 point margin as the game wound down.
The facts of the matter are that Marquette is going to need to figure out Aneesah Morrow if they want to advance to the semifinals. DePaul’s leading scorer and the Big East’s leading rebounder was a dominant force against MU in the first two meetings this season. Game #1: 21 points, 17 rebounds, two assists, a steal, and five blocks. Game #2: 21 points, 17 rebounds, two assists, a steal, and three blocks. Morrow shot 18-for-29 from two point range only in the two games against the Golden Eagles this season. That’s 62%! She’s only shooting 56% for the season! This needs to be solved, one way or another.
Morrow is also personally destroying Marquette’s usual advantage on the glass at both ends as well. Not only did she grab 17 rebounds in both games, she did it the exact same way both times: eight offensive rebounds and nine defensive rebounds. On the year, Marquette averages 38% of the misses on the offensive end and 74% on the defensive end, according to HerHoopStats.com. Against DePaul this year? Just 27% on the offensive glass in the first meeting, 62% in both games on defense. Marquette figured it out on the offensive glass in Chicago, grabbing a whopping 42% of their misses. That also didn’t matter for most of that game, so take all of it with a grain of salt.
For the record: Both teams have their postseason future hinging on this game. As of Friday morning, ESPN’s Charlie Creme has DePaul as the third team outside the cutline for the field of 68...... and Marquette and their #71 NET ranking isn’t even in the Next Four Out. DePaul needs to not have a loss against a team that’s not projected as a tournament team, and Marquette needs to win the whole deal to even get into the NCAA tournament.
Of course, there is a major roadblock to that plan, and it comes in the semifinal round. The winner of this game on Saturday will advance to the semifinals on Sunday, where they will tipoff at 2pm Central time on FS1 no matter what. It is almost a guarantee that the opponent will be Connecticut. The Huskies do have to face either Providence or Georgetown on Saturday, but Her Hoop Stats has them has a heavy, heavy, HEAVY favorite to beat both of those teams.