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Women’s Basketball Preview: Syracuse Looms Next For Red-Hot Golden Eagles

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The Marquette women’s basketball team’s next three opponents are all within two games of Marquette in the Big East standings. The stretch starts with a home game this Saturday against Syracuse at 1 p.m.

Syracuse (13-4, 1-3 Big East), who is only 1.5 games back of Marquette , looks to improve its poor Big East record against a Marquette team that is currently riding a three game winning streak—which includes an impressive 69-54 victory over No. 9 West Virginia on Jan. 11. The Golden Eagles won’t let that get to their heads, however, after they barely beat South Florida (9-10, 0-5 Big East) 61-55.

That game featured 14 lead changes, and at times saw Marquette down by as many as 12 points in the first half. However, the Golden Eagles were able to grab a come-from-behind victory against the Bulls, which has the second worst record in the Big East but has lost its last three games by just a combined 13 points.

Marquette shot only 33.3 percent, 19-of-57, from the field but compensated for that with twice as many free throws made as South Florida attempted.

Sophomore forward Sarina Simmons said the team needed to be more active defensively.

“We did not do a good job in the first half of the game limiting their second chance points,” Simmons said. “So we really stepped up and worked on that later on. We also did not work well moving our feet on defense.”

Though they did not play as well as they would have liked, the Golden Eagles were able to keep the game close and pull out the victory, thanks to late baskets from senior forward Paige Fiedorowicz and guard Tatiyiana McMorris.

Freshman Katherine Plouffe said the team learned they are able to maintain its composure in tight games.

“Our team does a really good job of staying composed when under pressure,” Plouffe said. “When we’re down we do a really good job of keeping our heads together, and that allows us to stay in the game and make comebacks like we did last week.”

This week, however, Marquette would prefer not to have to come back against a Syracuse team that is considered far more talented than South Florida. The scare this past weekend seems to have served as a reminder that no team can become complacent in Big East play.

“We need to realize that any team in the Big East can beat you any given night, so we need to be prepared to bring it every game,” senior guard Courtney Weibel said.

Weibel also noted that the team has to forget about the near upset against South Florida and get ready for the next game.

“We need to focus on being prepared for a really good Syracuse team,” Weibel said. “I don’t know if there is any one thing that we need to fix from the South Florida game, we just need to overall shake the rust off and be ready to play.”

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