• Upset Was There for the Taking

    MILWAUKEE - Right there, in the palm of their hands, the Marquette women played well enough for half of the game at home, Jan. 30, at the Al McGuire Center, against visiting Rutgers. Unfortunately in the second half, pulling off the upset wasn't in the cards.

    A relentless push by the Golden Eagles in the first half put the Scarlet Knights in an unfamiliar situation. They found themselves playing from behind and went into the locker room down 29-28.

    Unfortunately for Marquette, when it rained, it poured. Seconds before halftime, reserve forward Courtney Thomas' right knee buckled. She fell to the floor, and the expression on her face indicated that she was in pain.

    Whatever the Golden Eagles forgot to do in the second half that worked in the first 20 minutes of the game was left behind the closed locker room doors. Just think, the Scarlet Knights would have been toast if Marquette would have kept the tempo going.

    The beat went on for Marquette, despite losing Thomas for possibly the season. That was another casualty to their already three-person injury corps, which include Gabi Minix, Ashley Santos and Apiew Ojulu. The absence of Thomas could wither the team down to nine healthy players. Eight, if you leave out little-used guard Margeaux Dupuy, who's healthy but barely gets in the game.

    The Golden Eagles were down to eight available players anyway after they sophomore center Chelsie Butler fouled out with 7 minutes 51 seconds in the game and the Scarlet Knights leading 48-39.

    In the end, it was too much speed, physical strength and depth from Rutgers that did in Marquette. The 72-54 defeat evened the Golden Eagles record to 10-10 overall and 2-5 in the Big East. The schedule in the final nine regular season games won't do them any justice.

    After a home contest against DePaul this Saturday, Marquette will hit the road with trips to Connecticut, Villanova and Cincinnati. Many people will pencil in a Marquette loss to Notre Dame and St. Johns at home on Feb. 17 and 20, respectfully, and against the Bearcats on March 4.

    That upset sure would have been the highlight of Marquette's up and down season. They are now 0-11 against Rutgers since joining the conference. There won't be too many more opportunities to try to beat Rutgers, and the Golden Eagles would be glad when the Scarlet Knights finally join the Big Ten Conference.