The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

PREVIEW: Marquette looks for revenge over Villanova in Big East quarterfinals

Photo by Keifer Russell
Jordan King drives to the hoop in Marquette’s 55-52 loss to Villanova Feb. 10 on National Marquette Day.

UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Marquette women’s basketball has another chance at revenge.

The Golden Eagles — who got swept by Villanova in the regular season series — will face the Wildcats again, this time in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals Saturday at Mohegan Sun Arena. Marquette is the No. 5 seed, while Villanova sits at No. 4.

The Golden Eagles finished their regular season with a 74-52 win against the Butler Bulldogs, where they had four players finish in double figures.

Here is a look at the matchup:

What to know about the Wildcats

Villanova finished the regular season tied-third in the Big East with Marquette and St. John’s.

The Wildcats beat the Golden Eagles in January 66-63 at Finneran Pavilion after Marquette went 0-for-10 on its last 10 shots and didn’t score a point for the final four minutes. In the two teams’ rematch in Milwaukee, it was deja vu as the Golden Eagles were unable to score for the final five minutes, ending in a 55-52 loss.

Villanova is led by junior guard Lucy Olsen, who was named the Big East Most Improved Player and was a unanimous selection to the All-Big East First Team. Olsen leads the Big East and sits fourth nationally in scoring with an average of 23.3 points per game.

Players to watch

  • Senior forward Liza Karlen — a unanimous selection to the All-Big East First Team — has been the key to success for Marquette all season. The St. Paul Minnesota native has six double-doubles in her last 10 games, and is averaging a career-best 18 points and 7.7 rebounds this year. 
  • Marquette’s offense wouldn’t be what it is without senior guard Rose Nkumu’s contributions. Averaging 4.9 assists per game, Nkumu sits second in the Big East and 10th nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.38) and 45th in the nation for total assists (143). But Nkumu also provides a lot of value on the defensive end, consistently drawing charges and guarding the opposing team’s best player.
  • Villanova junior forward Christina Dalce averages 2.34 blocks per game, good for 20th in the nation and second in the Big East. She also leads the conference with 9.7 rebounds per game and was named an All-Big East Honorable Mention.
  • Wildcat senior guard Bella Runyan is the Big East leader in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.9). She averaged 12 points per game across her two matchups against the Golden Eagles and has been a critical piece of Villanova’s offense all season.

Keys to the game

  • Marquette: Eliminate shots and put pressure on Olsen. When facing the Wildcats for the first time this year, the Golden Eagles could not stop the Collegeville, Pennsylvania native as she scored 37 points on 12-of-19 shooting. Marquette needs to keep her out of the paint and force her to take shots from deep, as she is shooting only 29.2% on threes.
  • Villanova: Take second chance opportunities and turn them into points. The Golden Eagles are averaging 14.6 turnovers per game, and this is where the Wildcats thrive the most. In their last match-up, Villanova was able to score 16 points off of the 18 turnovers Marquette had. If the Wildcats are able to force the Golden Eagles into a scoring drought and take those opportunities, they should be giving themselves a leg up.

Live Updates

  • Watch: Tip-off is set for 1:30 p.m. CST and will be broadcast on FS2.
  • Listen: Kristin Parisi will have the call on Marquette Radio. Coverage starts at 1:30 at this link.
  • Live Updates: Follow @RaquelRuizMU and @MUWireSports on Twitter/X.

This story was written by Raquel Ruiz. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter/X @RaquelRuizMU.

Story continues below advertisement
Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Raquel Ruiz
Raquel Ruiz, Sports Reporter
Raquel Ruiz is a first-year student from Mundelein, Illinois studying digital media and is a Sports Reporter for the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire, she enjoys playing volleyball, volunteering in her local community, spending time with friends and family and binge-watching tv shows. She is excited to learn from different people and explore what it is like to be a journalist in the media field.
Keifer Russell
Keifer Russell, Staff Photographer
Keifer Russell is a junior from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin studying digital media and public relations and is a Staff Photographer of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire he enjoys rock climbing, photography (figures), as well as finding and listening to new music. He is very excited to further refine his photographic content over the next year

Comments (0)

All Marquette Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *