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Marquette Women’s Basketball Refuses To Beat Villanova

The Golden Eagles took the lead in the fourth quarter and then just refused to do anything about holding onto it.

Marquette’s Megan Duffy Marquette University

Here’s what I wrote for a sub-headline on the preview for Saturday afternoon’s Marquette women’s basketball encounter with Villanova:

The Golden Eagles need a win almost as much as they need a quality full 40 minute performance.

They got neither.

Three days after scoring just four points in the first quarter against Georgetown before managing just 52 points in a win, Marquette didn’t score at all in the final 4:50 on their way to scoring just 52 points in a 55-52 loss to the Wildcats. The Golden Eagles are now 18-6 overall and 7-6 in Big East play with five games left to go.

We can skip over the first 30 minutes. Villanova led by as many as six in the second quarter, but Marquette had a five point lead midway through the third. But a Bella Runyan three-pointer put the Wildcats up by four, 46-42, heading to the final frame.

Liza Karlen broke the ice on the frame, and then Jordan King buried a second chance three-pointer to put Marquette up by one. Two free throws from King made it a three point lead with 7:06 to go. Then Marquette forgot that they needed to defend Lucy Olsen even though she dropped 37 on them in the first meeting, and she single handedly pushed the visitors back out in front, 51-49.

Another second chance triple from King, Marquette by one, 4:58 to go.

Marquette would not score again.

I want to rewind.

That opening bucket by Karlen? Those were the only points in the quarter for Marquette that did not come from Jordan King. Marquette had just one field goal in the final 7:44, that three from King that I just mentioned with under five minutes left.

It’s not like Villanova won this game by 12 as a result. VU scored just four more points after King’s three, a layup from Zanai Jones on the ensuing possession, and two Maddie Webber free throws with eight seconds left. Marquette had chance after chance after chance after chance to win this game in the fourth quarter, and they just refused to take advantage of a single one of them.

And now they’re 6-6 since starting the year 12-0 with seven straight performances that could be generously described as uneven and are probably best described as poor at best.

Up Next: To a certain extent, Marquette’s chances at an NCAA tournament berth are on the line in every game for the rest of the season now. That rest of the season starts on Tuesday night when they visit DePaul for a 7pm Central time start on FloSports. The Blue Demons are 12-14 overall and 4-9 in Big East play after suffering a 29 point loss at #21 Creighton on Saturday.