Marquette Women’s Basketball Preview: vs Georgetown & vs Villanova

Marquette Women’s Basketball Preview: vs Georgetown & vs Villanova

How is everyone doing after Wednesday night’s overtime thriller between Marquette and DePaul? Did everyone catch their breath? Heart rate and blood pressure back down and within normal ranges?

The good news is that Marquette has the W. They kind of needed it. Between dropping two straights to fall to 2-2 in Big East play and both losses against teams Marquette should be competitive with and Marquette effectively handing both teams the game through drought in the second half, it was a bit of a bad scene all around. Well, at least a bad scene relative to “you still have 16 conference games to go.”

Beating DePaul was a big deal for a number of reasons. First off, there’s only the “they were undefeated in the Great East” part, so it’s always good for you to shake the leaderboard. Second, DePaul already has a ton of big games in their deck, so they’ll remain a high-quality NET opponent for the rest of the season. Third, the Blue Demons earned AP’s top 25 votes last week, and while MU isn’t going to suddenly steal those votes, it will make those voters look at least a little at Marquette.

Finally, and this is a big one for Marquette and how they’re doing: The Golden Eagles had a drought in the second half and still found a way to win. MU was leading 11 at one point in the third quarter, and then with just under seven minutes left in regulation, they were seven behind. That’s an 18-point swing, and that’s a huge drought. But they won, and that’s what matters. It’s a proof of concept win, they can take a beating and then bring it back.

Now they get two more home games to strengthen the old record. Without being mean to anyone, this weekend’s opponents haven’t quite matched DePaul’s level so far this season, so hopefully that means Marquette can focus on the things Marquette is good at and get to 5-2 in the competition can go.

Big East Game #6: vs Georgetown Hoyas (6-4, 1-1 Big East)

Date: Friday 14 January 2022
Time: 19:00 Central
Venue: Al McGuire Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Stream: FloHoops, with Bob Brainerd and Patricia Babcock McGraw on the phone
Live stats: Sidearm stats
Twitter updates: @MarquetteWBB

Marquette is all-time 22-4 against Georgetown. After last year’s 55-48 win in DC, the Golden Eagles have now won eight in a row against the Hoyas and 11 of their last 12.

Between November 9 and December 13, Georgetown crammed into 10 games. That’s actually quite impressive, even if it requires a non-D1 opponent. The results, well, not so much. Only one of those games – a 64-38 loss to Creighton in Omaha – was against a top 100 opponent. Everything else they played currently falls between #111 and #301 in the NET, well, there is a clear dividing line for the Hoyas. If you are above #140 in the NET, you beat Georgetown. If you were under it – George Washington, Coppin State, Loyola (MD) and Navy – you lost to the Hoyas. As such, Georgetown’s own NET hangs out at #185

Not good.

Also not good: the fact that Georgetown hasn’t played a basketball game since December 13. Four Big East games have already been postponed and this will be their first promotion in a month. Three of them have already been put back on the calendar, which is good news, but that won’t help them get up to speed by the time this game kicks off on Friday night.

When the Hoyas got underway, they were led by Milan Bolden-Morris and Kelsey Ransom. Those are their two double digit scorers, with the 5’10” Bolden-Morris leading the team with 13.2 per game. She is also Georgetown’s foremost long-range shooter, with 44% of her more than six attempts per game. The Hoyas don’t shoot many threes as a team, so it becomes critical not to let go of Bolden-Morris. Ransom, a 5’10” guard from New Jersey, is also Georgetown’s team leader in assists, with 4.4 assists per game. According to HerHoopStats.com, that equates to number 23 in the county in assist rate, so the Golden Eagles will have to keep an eye out for her.

Georgetown is just a mid-range in the rebounding departments, so there’s nothing good or bad for Marquette to focus on that. Jillian Archer leads the squad per game at 6.8 and Graceann Bennett is right behind her at 6.0 per night. That’s a pretty good one-two punch on the glass, so as long as the Golden Eagles put bodies on it, you should be fine.

One thing GU has been particularly good at this season is reaching the free-throw line. Her Hoop stats have them at #34 in the country in FT Rate, or the ratio of free throws to field goals. they do not to make lots of freebies, only 67%, but the mistakes themselves can affect how the Golden Eagles defend.

Big East Game #7: vs Villanova Wildcats (8-5, 2-2 Big East)

Date: Sunday 16 January 2022
Time: 13:00 Central
Venue: Al McGuire Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Television: CBS Sports Network
Stream: CBSSports.com
Live stats: Sidearm stats
Twitter updates: @MarquetteWBB

Marquette is 17-10 all-time against Villanova. The Golden Eagles have won 10 of the last 11 encounters between the two teams.

Villanova had a difficult start to the season. They lost 17 to Princeton at home, though that doesn’t turn out to be a big deal, and then they went to Maryland and were crushed by the then number 4 ranked Terrapins. After two Big Five wins, they lost six at home to Temple to fall back to 2-3 in the season, and to make matters worse, the Wildcats dropped their first two Big East games.

Losing to Creighton at age 14 on the road? Not so bad. Losing on the road at Providence by 19? Active disaster, frankly.

Since then: five straight wins, including a home game for then-#23 Oregon State and consecutive Big East wins at Seton Hall and St. John’s. Sure, the wins were close and at home, but wins are wins, especially when it equals .500 in the conference. They had a game against Connecticut that was ditched for now, and they’ll be in Chicago Friday night to meet DePaul before coming to Milwaukee.

Her Hoop stats have the Wildcats just outside the top 100 for Offensive and Defensive Ratings, at #108 and #106, respectively. I’m surprised they aren’t worse than on the attack, to be honest. Villanova predictably plays Denise Dillon basketball: A Metric Ton Of Three-Pointers. They are number 46 in the country in terms of how much of their offense comes from behind the arc…land. As a result, the VU’s effective field goal percentage is #203 in the country and their field goal percentage is #243.

Everyone on the Villanova roster is somewhere between bad and barely passable when it comes to shooting the long ball. Lucy Olsen is the barely passable at 34.1% on the year, and she’s trying just over three per game while starting out for the Wildcats. Only two other players – Lior Garzon and Brooke Mullin – are north of 30%, and both are below the 33.3% mark where three-pointers are just as valuable as firing 50% on the edge. Garzon and Mullin are #1 and #3 on the team in terms of attempts per game…..with Maddy Siegrist and her 22.2% conversion rate between them at 5.1 tries per night. Siegrist has been a decent to good long range shooter thus far in her collegiate career, but this could be a “let her shoot until she makes one” situation for Marquette.

After all, you’d rather have Villanova’s top scorer take pictures she’s bad at. Siegrist gets 22.9 points per night for the Wildcats, and she shoots 50% on 15 attempts within the rim to get there. Siegrist is also the team’s rebounding leader at just under 10 per game, and she’s not far from the team leader in assists at 2.3 per night. If shooting and missing many threes eventually frustrates her and loses focus on both sides, that could be good news for the Golden Eagles.

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