MU Faces Providence in BIG EAST Tournament Action

Senior Apiew Ojulu
March 5, 2015

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MILWAUKEE--The Marquette Golden Eagles (8-21, 4-14) take on the Providence Friars (6-23, 3-15) in the opening round of the BIG EAST Tournament Saturday afternoon, March 7, at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. Gametime is slated for 2 p.m. Central time and the contest can be viewed live via the BIG EAST Digital Network on the FOX Sports Go app. Dave Bernhard and Patricia Babcock McGraw will be on the call.

Saturday's first round showdown features the No. 8 and No. 9 teams BIG EAST regular season standings in Marquette and Providence, respectively. In their two meetings during regular season action, each squad claimed a victory on their opponent's home court. The Friars knocked off Marquette 66-58 in Milwaukee in late January, while the Golden Eagles returned the favor at Providence the following month, with a 72-64 victory.

The Last Meeting
February 20, 2015
Providence, R.I.
Marquette Bests Providence on the Road, 72-64
It was another victory that came down to key free throw shooting down the stretch as the Marquette University women's basketball team (8-19, 4-12) won its second in-a-row, 72-64, at Providence (5-21, 2-13) Friday evening.

Rebounding and front court play could be key factors in Marquette's opening round matchup. In Providence's victory over Marquette, it outrebounded MU 44-33 and scored 42 of its 66 points in the paint. The next meeting between the two squads was a different story, as the Golden Eagles responded with a +8 rebounding margin en route to their win.

Marquette finished up its season strong, winning four of its last eight matchups, after dropping 10-consecutive contests to open BIG EAST play. Providence enters BIG EAST Tournament action, as losers of seven of its past eight games. PC's last victory before knocking off Georgetown it its regular-season finale, came at Marquette on Jan. 23. The Friars scored a season-high 81 points in their final regular season matchup, despite averaging a league-low 60.1 points per contest.

The Friars are led by senior guard Tori Rule who leads the team in scoring at 14.2 points per game, and is the squad's leader in steals on year with 38. Rule, along with teammate Alexis Harris who scores 11.3 points per game and is the team's leading rebounder at 6.9 boards per contest, account for the majority of PC's offensive production.

Marquette will rely on the veteran presence of senior guard Arlesia Morse, who paces Marquette offensively with a 14.6 points per game average. The All-BIG EAST Second Team selection has put together an excellent final season in the Blue and Gold, notching double-figure scoring outputs in 23 of the 29 games she appeared in. BIG EAST All-Freshman Team honorees, Kenisha Bell and Tia Elbert, will look to make a splash in their first-ever BIG EAST Tournaments.

In eight all-time meetings between the two programs, Marquette holds an 8-4 advantage over PC.

The Golden Eagles are 6-10 in BIG EAST Tournament action all time, and sit at 3-3 in opening round matchups since entering the league in 2005-06. Last year in BIG EAST post-season action, after receiving a first round bye, the Golden Eagles knocked off Villanova in the quarterfinal before falling to DePaul in the semifinals.

The winner of the opening round contest between No.8 Marquette and No. 9 Providence, will take on the tournament's No.1 seed Seton Hall Pirates, Sunday, March 7. Sunday's quarterfinal tilt is slated for Noon CT at Allstate Arena, and FOX Sports 2 will carry the game live.




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