Marquette women’s basketball gashed by DePaul

Photo+by+Valeria+Cardenas%2Fvaleria.cardenas%40marquette.edu

Photo by Valeria Cardenas/valeria.cardenas@marquette.edu

The Marquette Golden Eagles (8-21, 4-14) lost a barn-burner to the DePaul Blue Demons (23-7, 15-3) by a final of 99-82 in Chicago Sunday afternoon, despite a spirited offensive effort.

The Golden Eagles put on one of their best shooting performances of the year, hitting 45.7 percent of their shots from the floor and going 10-for-18 from beyond the arc. Four Golden Eagles put up double digit point totals – Kenisha Bell with 19, Cristina Bigica put up a career-high 17, Tia Elbert with 14 and Arlesia Morse with 14.

However, turnovers and repeated defensive breakdowns proved to be Marquette’s undoing. Each of the players who scored in double digits for Marquette, except Morse, committed at least two turnovers, which contributed to the team’s total tally of 18 miscues, many of which led to easy transition buckets for DePaul.

In addition to forcing turnovers, the Blue Demons repeatedly carved up an abysmal Marquette defense. DePaul’s 99 points rank as the second-highest point total the Golden Eagles have allowed all season and is only two points shy of Marquette’s season-worst 101 points allowed, which also came against DePaul in the teams’ first meeting. Four Blue Demons scored 17 points or more, and three had already scored in double digits by the end of the first half. Megan Podkowa and Chanise Jenkins both reeled off 24 points to help clip the Golden Eagles’ wings.

A lethal Blue Demon offensive assault put Marquette on the defensive early and often. DePaul repeatedly got into the paint and connected on layups, which resulted in a double-digit Blue Demon lead for more than five minutes of the first half. However, despite trailing by as much as 13 points, the plucky Golden Eagles hung around and mounted a 12-2 run at the end of the half to cut their deficit to three at the break.

The two teams traded baskets coming out of the intermission before DePaul went on a 9-0 run to take a 66-52 lead with 12:49 left. Marquette quickly responded with its own 10-0 counterpunch to pull the game within four points with 10:57 left. After a few more traded baskets, Bigica sank a three-pointer to put Marquette within three points of the lead with an even 10 minutes to go.

Alas, DePaul would not allow the Golden Eagles to come any closer to capturing the lead. The Blue Demons went on an 11-0 spree immediately afterward and the Golden Eagles were never able to recover. When the final buzzer sounded, DePaul’s 99-82 advantage gave no indication of how competitive the game was.

The end of this game also marked the end of the regular season for the Golden Eagles, who earned the eighth seed in the 10-team Big East tournament. The team will battle with the ninth-seeded Providence Friars in the preliminary round of the tournament this Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill. for the right to advance to the quarterfinals. Due to Marquette’s subpar showing in the regular season, winning the tournament is the only way the team can advance to the NCAA Tournament.