Not the ending they had in mind

Angel Robinson's shot at the buzzer rimmed out, and just like that, the Golden Eagles' run at back-to-back WNIT championships was over.

With an overall record of 17-16, Marquette's disappointing season came to an end last Thursday against Illinois State, and Robinson's shot was a good representation of the struggles Marquette had all year long.

Robinson said the shot looked good, but as was the case for this team all season, it came up just short.

"If you look at our losses, we have had seven to eight losses under six points," coach Terri Mitchell said. "We have competed and we were there. Now we are going to make sure we finish those games out."

Mitchell will have to do so without seniors Krystal Ellis, Erin Monfre and Marissa Thrower, who played their last game in a Marquette uniform and will leave the program with a bittersweet taste in their mouths.

"Some negatives from the season are that we lost in the NIT and we didn't make it to the NCAA Tournament," Ellis said. "But I think everybody matured a little more."

Ellis departs as the program's all-time leading scorer (1,940 points), but was held scoreless in her last game with Marquette.

"I didn't fall asleep until like five in the morning…I cleaned my apartment and that's when it hit me," she said in reaction to the end of her Marquette career.

Aside from the postseason woes the Golden Eagles encountered, the regular season featured a variety of downfalls for a team which showed serious promise.

Back in November, Marquette hosted the WBCA Classic and lost two straight to Virginia and Utah, games in which they held double-digit second half leads. Had the Golden Eagles held on to win they would have started the season 7-0 and possibly crack the top-25 polls.

Just four weeks ago, Marquette was given a chance to redeem a disastrous Big East season by making some noise in the conference tournament. The Golden Eagles, however were quieted by the last place Cincinnati Bearcats and sent home in the first round.

But the year wasn't a complete disaster for Mitchell's squad.

On Feb. 15, Marquette hosted its fourth annual Pink Out and Monfre played the game of her life — a game she said she will never forget.

On a day that raised awareness for breast cancer — the disease that took the life of her mother — Monfre drained a record seven 3-pointers, scoring a career-high 21 points.

"There's no really explanation other than it was a special day, and you get that extra help from up above and there's nothing you can do," Monfre said following the game.

Amidst the inconsistent play and uncharacteristic losses, Marquette shocked top-10 Notre Dame on Jan. 13, winning 75-65 in convincing fashion. The win was the Golden Eagles' sole victory against a nationally-ranked opponent this season.

As for the future, Mitchell showed a lot of confidence in her younger players, starting some of them over her seniors in postseason play.

"I am excited about what the young players did and how we are going to build a future," Mitchell said.

Robinson, in particular, looks at her missed shot last week as inspiration when situations like that arise in the future.

"My team is confident in me to make those shots," she said. "We have plenty time to work on those shots and I am going to make those shots next year and in the following year."