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Women’s basketball battles DePaul on Senior Night

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Paige Fiedorowicz (#41) against Rutgers. Photo by Emily Waller / Emily.Waller@Marquette.edu

Senior Night for Marquette’s six graduating players won’t be easy by any stretch of the imagination, as they welcome No. 7/11 DePaul on Saturday.

The game with the Blue Demons should be an exciting one. Even though emotions will be running high, Marquette still has to focus on finishing the game, senior guard Angel Robinson said.

The Blue Demons hold a 12-1 record in the Big East while No. 24/22 Marquette sits at 9-5 in the conference. In their last meeting with DePaul, the women started off slow in the second half, falling victim to a 13-0 DePaul run.

“They came out hot, and we just didn’t respond well as a team,” Robinson said.

Lately, the women have been in a slump from the three-point line. In the past five games, the team’s high was a 41.7 percent average from behind the arc against Seton Hall on Feb. 16, and the low was 20 percent versus Villanova on Feb. 1. Currently, the Golden Eagles are shooting 34 percent on the season.

The inside game has been working well most of the season, but the three-point shot is still important, said senior guard Courtney Weibel. If the shots don’t drop, the team has enough confidence that someone else will step up, she said.

Three-point shooting kept the Golden Eagles in the overtime win at Pittsburgh on Jan. 29 when senior guard Tatiyiana McMorris forced the extra period after burying a long ball at the end of regulation.

The Blue Demons’ lowest percentage, on the other hand, was 33.3 in their loss to Connecticut, and in two games against Georgetown and Syracuse their three-point average was more than 50 percent in each game.

“There can’t be one possession where we lose focus or let our guard down,” senior forward Paige Fiedorowicz said. “Each play has to be just right, and we have to go hard.”

Defensively, the women will have to work on containing DePaul’s talented array of scorers.

The Blue Demons have had a different leading scorer in each of the last five games. Felicia Chester, Deirdre Naughton, Anna Martin, Keisha Hampton and Sam Quigley have each scored 14 points or more.

Weibel said it’s all about communication when switching defenses and recognizing what shooter is “hot” that night.

Leading by as many as 19 points the last time they met Marquette Feb. 12, the Blue Demons pose a dangerous offensive threat.

The team can’t focus on how DePaul is playing and just has to stick with playing “Marquette basketball,” Fiedorowicz said.

DePaul’s quick transitions on offense were a major factor in the lead changes during the last match-up.

“Their transition offense is really good, so we need to make sure that we get back on defense,” Weibel said.

Consistency will help the Golden Eagles close the gap in long runs.

DePaul’s only loss over their last 13 games was against No. 2/2 Connecticut. The Huskies’ success came from a breakdown in the Blue Demons’ defense that allowed Connecticut to go on several long scoring runs in the game.

Forcing turnovers, capitalizing on shots and playing good team defense will lessen the threat of the DePaul offensive runs.

“They’re a really good team, they know what they want to do offensively and defensively, and we just have to match that intensity,” Robinson said.

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