PREVIEW: Marquette looks to defeat I-94 rival in BIG EAST Quarterfinals

Senior+forward+Chloe+Marotta+%2852%29+in+Marquette+womens+basketballs+88-85+win+over+DePaul+Jan.+12.

Photo by Collin Nawrocki

Senior forward Chloe Marotta (52) in Marquette women’s basketball’s 88-85 win over DePaul Jan. 12.

UNCASVILLE, Conn- Marquette women’s basketball looks to punch its sixth straight ticket to the BIG EAST Tournament Semifinals, taking on the DePaul Blue Demons Saturday afternoon in the quarterfinals.

The Golden Eagles are coming off a 79-75 win over St. John’s Sunday. Composure down the stretch in the fourth quarter helped Marquette etch out the victory and a first round bye in the tournament.

Graduate students Lauren Van Kleunen and Karissa McLaughlin combined for 41 of Marquette’s 79 points on the afternoon with 22 and 19 respectively. In addition to 22 points, Van Kleunen added four rebounds and three assists while McLaughlin added two rebounds and three assist.

Meanwhile, DePaul are coming off a 90-84 win against Creighton Sunday afternoon. Despite trailing 76-72 in the fourth quarter, the Blue Demons went on a 12-0 scoring run to take a 84-76 lead and would not look back.

DePaul was led by first-year forward Aneesah Morrow’s game-high 41 points and 18 rebounds.

Fun Facts

  • Both Marquette and DePaul rank in the Top 10 in the country in assisst per game. The Blue Demons rank fifth at 18.9 per game while the Golden Eagles sit ninth at 17.8 per game.
  • DePaul averages 8.8 3-pointer per game, which is 16th in the country.
  • Marquette enters the BIG EAST Tournament winning three of its last four games.
  • This is the second time Marquette head coach Megan Duffy and DePaul head coach Doug Bruno will face each other in the BIG EAST Tournament.

A Look Back

  • Both teams split the regular season series, with both programs winning on their home court.
  • Since joining the BIG EAST in 2006, Marquette has faced DePaul eight times in the BIG EAST Tournament and is 1-7 versus the Blue Demons in those games. Marquette’s one win over DePaul came in 2017 when the Golden Eagles won the BIG EAST Tournament.
  • In their last five meetings Marquette is 2-3 against DePaul.

Key Players

  • Van Kleunen, aAll-BIG EAST First Team selection, leads the team in scoring and rebounding with 13.2 points and 6.3 boards per game. Van Kleunen also has the highest field goal percentage on Marquette, shooting 47.4% from the field.
  • McLaughlin is the Golden Eagles best 3-point threat. In Marquette’s lone win over DePaul this season, McLaughlin made four three’s and played the entire game. On the season McLaughlin has made 69 triples while shooting 42.6% from deep.
  • Junior guard Antwainette Walker has seen an increased role coming off the bench in the final seven games of the season for the Golden Eagles. In that span Walker is averaging 7.6 points and five rebounds per game.
  • Morrow, the BIG EAST Freshman of the Year and All-BIG EAST First Team selection, has been a dominant post presence for the Blue Demons. She leads the country in rebounds per game with 14 while also leading DePaul in points per game, averaging 21.5.
  • Senior guard Lexi Held is the primary ball-handler for DePaul. The All-BIG EAST Second Team selection leads DePaul in assists with 169 (5.5 a night) and also averages 12.8 points per game.

Keys to the Game

  • Marquette: Win the rebounding battle. The Golden Eagles have an average rebound margin of 8.4 per game. Securing their own offensive rebounds and limiting DePaul’s offensive rebounds will be key.
  • DePaul: Play at their pace. The Blue Demons average 88.4 points per game which is the most in the country. In the two games against Marquette this season DePaul has averaged 81 points.

This article was written by Ben Schultz. He can be reached at benjamin.a.schultz@marquette.edu or on Twitter @benschultz52.