BASELINE: Held leads DePaul to third consecutive BIG EAST Tournament title

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Photo by Zach Bukowski

Lexi Held (left) poses with BIG EAST Commissioner Val Ackerman (right) when receiving her trophy for BIG EAST Tournament Most Outstanding Player.

CHICAGO — For the third straight year, DePaul topped Marquette in the BIG EAST Tournament Championship game as the Blue Demons defeated the Golden Eagles 88-74 Monday night.

A combination of 27 MU turnovers, DePaul’s press and three Blue Demons scoring in double figures resulted in DPU’s 3-peat. This is the longest streak of league tournament titles since University of Connecticut’s run of five straight from 2008-12. Here’s a breakdown of the loss:

Game MVP

For the first time in her career, DePaul’s Lexi Held won the BIG EAST Tournament Most Outstanding Player.

“She deserves it,” senior forward Chante Stonewall said. “I’m so proud of you, Lex.”

The sophomore guard paced the Blue Demons with 31 points on 10-for-14 shooting.

“It means a lot, but I really couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” Held said.

Her 31 points is the highest single-game total from a player in the tournament since Marquette alum Allazia Blockton scored 32 points March 5, 2018 in a BIG EAST Tournament game.

“She didn’t even know she dropped 30 when I told her,” senior guard Kelly Campbell said.

Held also went 5-for-6 from beyond the arc and contributed four assists, three steals and one block. Twelve of her points came in the third quarter on 4-for-5 shooting.

“Lexi did everything. She got easy shots, she made tough shots, she shot it from the outside, she got to the rim,” Marquette head coach Megan Duffy said. “She struggled a little bit over the last couple weeks, and I thought this tournament she really got going and was a concern for us coming in with her ability to score.”

Notes

  • DePaul’s offense struggled in the first quarter, shooting 29%, but the Blue Demons only trailed by one point.
  • At the 7:05 mark in the second half, Marquette committed its 10th turnover. The Golden Eagles ended the game with 27 turnovers.
  • DPU outscored MU 28-15 in the second quarter.
  • DePaul shot 71% from beyond the arc in the second frame.
  • Marquette totaled 22 points in the paint by half.
  • Selena Lott drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the first half.
  • The Blue Demons opened the second half on a 7-0 run.
  • Both teams went on almost three-minute scoring droughts in the middle of the third quarter.
  • MU shot 71% from the field in the third quarter.
  • Marquette scored 24 points in the fourth quarter and held DePaul to shooting 3-for-11 from the field.
  • DePaul was the first No. 1 seed to win BIG EAST Tournament since 2014 when the Blue Demons won as the top seed.
  • DPU set a BIG EAST Tournament record with 43 threes, which broke the previous record of 40.

Quote of the Day

When talking about the DePaul-Marquette rivalry, Stonewall said MU always brings the best out of her Blue Demons.

“Wouldn’t be a BIG EAST final if we weren’t playing Marquette,” Campbell said.

Up Next

Marquette (24-8, 13-5 BIG EAST) waits to see if the team receives an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. The Selection Show begins at 7 p.m. March 16.

This article was written by Zoe Comerford. She can be reached at isabel.comerford@marquette.edu or on Twitter @zoe_comerford.