Marquette Advances over Providence, 78-75

Kenisha Bell led MU with 21 points
March 7, 2015

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ROSEMONT, Ill.--An 11-2 run over the final five minutes of play lifted No. 8 Marquette over No. 9 Providence, 78-75, Saturday in the first round of the BIG EAST Tournament. Clutch free throw shooting was the story again for the Golden Eagles as they sank 4-for-5 in the game's final minutes, which helped to seal the victory at Allstate Arena.

Freshman Kenisha Bell led MU (9-21) with 21 points, while seniors Chelsie Butler and Arlesia Morse tallied 17 and 16 points, respectively.

It was Butler's play in the final minutes which helped the Golden Eagles to victory as she converted a three-point play at the 2:04 mark then blocked a shot with three seconds remaining in the game. She calmly sank two free-throws after being fouled with one second on the clock, giving Marquette a three-point victory.

Morse notched 12 of her 16 points in the second half, which included two shots from beyond the arc, and also grabbed a huge rebound, which gave MU possession with just 27 seconds left to play and sent Marquette to the free throw line.

Marquette trailed the entire second half until taking its first lead with nine seconds remaining. The 11-2 run from the Golden Eagles began with 5:35 left in the game, trailing 73-67 and was sparked by a jumper from Kenisha Bell.

The Golden Eagles shot 47 percent (31-66) in the game and outrebounded the Friars, 46-38, and received help from their post players, grabbing 42 points in the paint. Every Marquette player to take the court scored at least two points in the game.

The Friars were led by Tori Rule who poured in 30 points, while Alexis Harris notched 14 points.

Providence stormed into the first half with solid offense and jumped out to an early 11-4 lead, but the Golden Eagles responded with a 21-6 run over a six-minute stretch, which gave them a 25-17 lead at the 10:26 mark. The Friars were not finished and composed a 15-5 run of their own to regain the lead, 37-36 after converting a lay-up with 2:49 left in the half.

PC led 44-42 at the break after Bell missed a jumper, which would have tied the game. The Golden Eagles shot 46.2 percent (18-30) in the frame and owned a 21-18 advantage on the glass. Bell lead MU with 16 first half points.

The Golden Eagles advance to the quarterfinals and will meet No. 1 seed Seton Hall. The game will tip at Noon CT and will air live on FOX Sports 2. A pregame reception for Marquette fans will take place at the Skyline Room attached to the box office on the North side of Allstate Arena.




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