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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Marquette women downed by DePaul
Senior guard Katie Young during the second half of No. 5 Marquette’s BIG EAST Quarterfinals matchup with No. 4 Villanova on 3/9/14. (Photo by Francesca Reed / [email protected])

ROSEMONT, IL — The Marquette women’s basketball team was eliminated from the Big East tournament by the DePaul Blue Demons Monday night. The loss most likely means the team will not qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

The Blue Demons controlled much of the action, shooting over 50 percent from the floor and scoring 48 points in the paint. Marquette did not have the lead after the 14:34 mark in the first half, when it was 14-13 Golden Eagles.

DePaul’s head coach Doug Bruno said his team put an emphasis on getting the ball in the lane, which was something he said his team didn’t do enough in the second game against Marquette.

“In game number-two against Marquette, we took 45 threes,” Bruno said. “We want to be shooting 30 percent of our shots from three, not 50 percent. We wanted to get the ball inside and attack the paint.”

Marquette coach Terri Mitchell said her team was scrambling to get into the right spots on defense and that her team’s positioning wasn’t good enough against a talented DePaul backcourt.

“We were getting out in the perimeter and weren’t rotating when we needed to,” Mitchell said. “They’re really good of finding the open person to the weak side when they drive.”

Marquette and DePaul played in two highly-contested games this season, including a 80-74 upset by the Golden Eagles at the Al McGuire Center in February. But on Monday night, the Golden Eagles were constantly pestered by DePaul’s swarming full-court press that forced 17 turnovers. The Golden Eagles also committed 30 fouls, with Apiew Ojulu, Cristina Bigica and Arlesia Morse fouling out.

“We were in a lot of foul trouble, so I had to put people out there that maybe weren’t used to being in those positions,” Mitchell said. “When we were settled in toward the end when we don’t care about fouls, then you saw we were just fine in doing what we needed to do.”

Three players scored in double figures for the Golden Eagles. Katie Young led the way with 25 points, Brooklyn Pumroy scored a career-high 21 and Katherine Plouffe had 19.

The teams went back-and-forth for the first five minutes of the game before DePaul broke the game open with an 11-0 run that put the Blue Demons ahead for good. Four players combined for 89 of DePaul’s 100 points. Forward Jasmine Penny led all scorers with 26 points, guard Chanise Jenkins scored 23 and guard Megan Rogowski chimed in with 21.

Things got interesting late as Marquette almost staged a furious rally in the final four minutes of the game. Trailing 83-66 with 4:22 remaining, the Golden Eagles went on a 21-10 run to trim the lead to six with a minute left, but that was the closest they would get. DePaul closed the game on a 7-3 run to seal its spot in the finals.

“We’re just fighters,” Plouffe said. “The motto of our team is to keep punching. This time we didn’t come out on top, but we fought till the end. It didn’t end up for us, but there’s a great future ahead with the people on this team.”

The loss likely will send the Golden Eagles to the N.I.T. for the second consecutive year. It could be Marquette’s third postseason appearance in four years, but Mitchell has hope that her team could still earn an NCAA tournament bid.

“I think the Big East needs a lot more respect than it’s getting nationally,” Mitchell said. “I just hope the committee has eyes wide open to how good this league is.”

Although Plouffe’s goal of making the NCAA tournament may not be attainable, Plouffe is hoping to take advantage of another opportunity to play for Marquette.

“It’s just another opportunity to play and get either championship,” Plouffe said. “It’s disappointing that it’s not a guaranteed bid to get into the NCAA tournament, but we’re going to have a postseason either way.”

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