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Marquette Scrapes By Villanova in Big East Quarterfinals, 50–48

Courtesy of Villanova Athletics
Junior guard Lucy Olsen led Villanova with 22 points against Marquette in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals. The seesaw match ended in Marquette’s favor, 50–48.

A seesaw match ended in Marquette’s favor as Villanova fell, 50–48, in the Big East quarterfinals on March 9 in Uncasville, CT.

After the win, Marquette (11–7 Big East, 23–8) advanced to the Big East semifinals, where it was defeated 58–29 by UConn on March 10.

The disappointing halt to Villanova’s Big East run risks an end to its season. The Wildcats now wait for Selection Sunday on March 17, which will determine whether their 11–7 Big East and 18–12 overall record will earn an NCAA Tournament spot.

Junior guard Lucy Olsen posted 22 points, leading the ‘Cats. Junior forward Christina Dalce marked her 10th double-double of the season, finishing the game with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Wildcats and Golden Eagles battled through the first three quarters. Defense was the strong point for both teams, recording under 35 percent shooting across the board.

Olsen instantly recorded four points in the opening minute. However, neither team surpassed a five-point advantage in the first quarter. 

The first ten minutes ended with Marquette ahead, 15–12.

The Golden Eagles made an attempt to break away in the second period. Marquette’s largest lead of the game came midway through the second quarter, 21–16.

A responsive shot in the paint from freshman guard Maddie Webber and a layup from Dalce off a turnover quickly closed the margin to just a point. 

The teams continued to trade scoring until halftime, at which Marquette held a narrow 26–24 advantage.

Early in the third quarter, junior guard Zanai Jones scored four points and Olsen connected on Villanova’s first three-pointer of the game to put Villanova ahead 31–28.

Villanova’s scoring energy faltered as Marquette set off on a 9–0 run in the latter half of the quarter. The Wildcats shot just 3–15 from the field in the third period.

The Villanova offense also struggled to capitalize on Marquette turnovers. While the ‘Cats forced 17 Golden Eagle turnovers across the game, they resulted in just 14 points.

The ‘Cats opened the fourth quarter scoring eight straight points to regain a precarious two-point advantage.

The Wildcats were behind 50–48 after an Olsen three-pointer as a high-pressure final sixty seconds arrived.

Villanova’s last two chances to tie the game were unsuccessful. Dalce missed two free throws, and Olsen’s layup at the buzzer skewed off-target.

Selection Sunday will take place on March 17 at 8 p.m. and will confirm whether Villanova’s future will include an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

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Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis, Co-Sports Editor
Katie Lewis is a sophomore from Miami, FL in her first year as Co-Sports Editor in 2024. From covering games to writing features and profiles, she loves to find the story behind Villanova sports. Pursuing her enthusiasm for writing and journalism in her studies at Villanova, Katie is double-majoring in English and Communication with concentrations in Journalism and Writing & Rhetoric. When Katie isn’t at Holy Grounds working on her next article, she enjoys playing tennis with Villanova’s club team.
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