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Marquette Women’s Basketball Preview: vs Georgetown

The Golden Eagles host the Hoyas for National Marquette Day.

Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament - 1st Round - Georgetown v Seton Hall
I wanted to use a picture of Jack in the remote control car but I did that for the Butler MBB preview.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

After the disaster that was Wednesday night’s second quarter against Villanova, Marquette women’s basketball is now 7-6 in Big East play. With seven games left to go in conference play, Marquette is currently in sixth place in the standings, which means that they would be the best team that gets put in a game in the tripleheader on the first day of the Big East tournament.

It’s reasonable to think that the men’s conference tournament doesn’t have much of an impact on the NCAA selection committee..... but the women’s tournament ends nearly a week before Selection Sunday. I don’t think it’s in MU’s best interest, especially in a slightly wide open conference as long as Connecticut keeps struggling with injuries, to have to play an opening round game against Xavier (or maybe Butler, we’ll see) before advancing to the quarterfinals and maybe needing a win there to help lock up an NCAA bid.

So yeah, that’s not great, but it’s hard to be truly frustrated with how it’s going when all six of Marquette’s losses are to the five teams in front of them in the standings. Losing on the road against the #19 team in the country isn’t a bad loss, even if the way you got there was kind of awful. It did cause Marquette’s NET to slip four spots and thus edge them a little bit closer to #50, and that’s not good..... but as of Friday morning, ESPN’s Charlie Creme still has Marquette in the field of 68. One spot lower than they were before the Villanova game, now sitting as Last Team In, but clearly still with viability as a candidate.

To that end: Saturday’s game is a home game against one of the five teams below Marquette in the standings. The one directly below them in the standings to be specific, and thus perhaps the most dangerous team of the group. It’s not a Must Win game for Marquette, but it is absolutely a Do Not Lose game for the Golden Eagles.

FUN FACT: This will be the first game that will have alcohol for sale at the McGuire Center, and yes, that means the ‘77 Golden Ale from Blue & Gold Brewing will be available.

Big East Game #14: vs Georgetown Hoyas (12-10, 5-8 Big East)

Date: Saturday, February 4, 2023
Time: 5pm Central
Location: Al McGuire Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Streaming: FloSports, with Matt Menzl and Michelle Griffin-Wenzel calling the action.
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWBB

Marquette is 25-4 all time against Georgetown. The Golden Eagles have won 11 straight in the series and 14 of the last 15, including the meeting in D.C. earlier this season. MU’s most recent loss in the series was at Georgetown in January 2018.

Back when Marquette visited Washington for the road side of this season series, the Golden Eagles were ranked #24 in the country. Ah, it was a simpler time. That game moved Marquette to 1-0 in Big East play as they eventually beat the Hoyas by 21 points, 78-57. Eventually is the key word, as Marquette was up just nine with 5:41 to play. Comfortable, but seeing as MU was up 15 late in the third quarter, that’s not what you want to see. But Marquette closed out the game with an 11-2 run with four different Golden Eagles chipping in points along the way there. MU was holding a decent lead the entire time, but after leading by 11 in the first quarter, they never quite paid off on that potential of blowing the game open until the final five minutes.

That game was way back on December 2nd, and the loss knocked Georgetown down to 4-3 on the year and a loss in their conference opener. They picked up their first Big East win in their next game, and that was the first of four wins in the next five games for the Hoyas. Things went sideways on them as 2022 wrapped up, as a loss at Seton Hall was the first of five straight losses for them. They were 8-9 on the year and 1-7 in the league at that point, and that was after one bad third quarter cost them a chance to upset UConn up at the XL Center on January 15th. Seriously, though: It was tied at 23 at the half.... and then UConn led by 13 heading to the fourth.

Low point of the year, maybe, but also they’ve turned it around since then. Home wins over DePaul and Seton Hall, road wins over Providence and Xavier, and only a 65-57 loss to Creighton that was only a four point game with 1:50 to play after the Jays were up double digits to start the fourth is messing up their run as of late. It’s not like they’re playing their way into an NCAA tournament berth here, not with a NET ranking of #97 as of Friday morning, but at 5-8, the Hoyas are at least within shouting range of playing their way out of that first day tripleheader in the Big East tournament. A win over Marquette, currently one spot ahead of GU in the standings, would go a long way towards helping them get there.

Last time out, Marquette did a great job making the Hoyas’ offense inefficient. Kennedy Fauntleroy went 3-for-15 from the field, Kelsey Ransom was 4-for-15, and Graceann Bennett was 2-for-10. Those are three of GU’s top four scorers, with Kristina Moore sitting at third on the team at 8.4 per game. She led Georgetown with 19 points on 7-for-9 shooting including 2-for-4 from long range, but when the whole team shoots under 37% for the game, one nice performance from one of your top four doesn’t really matter all that much.

One big thing to watch in this game: Rebounding. Yes, I know, Marquette loves to rebound, or at least Megan Duffy wants them to rebound hard. With Liza Karlen back in the lineup after getting back on solid foods following her oral surgery, Marquette should have the size in the lineup to do damage on the glass.... and Georgetown’s vulnerable to what Marquette’s doing. In the first meeting, Marquette grabbed an offensive rebound on 43% of their misses, which was pretty important as MU only shot 41% from the field. On the other side, they kept the Hoyas to just 22% of their misses, and GU’s already a not good offensive rebounding team at just #202 in the country according to Her Hoop Stats.