• Alumni Pep Talk Inspires MU Women Against Rivals

    MILWAUKEE - Before the Marquette women's home game against their rivals to the south in DePaul, some of the former players gave a pep talk to the current squad in the locker room on alumni night in what it means to play with fire and come out winners.

    After the rally of the troops speeches, the Golden Eagles were ready to bury the Blue Demons on the Al McGuire Center court. Their 70-66 win, Feb. 2, snapped a three-game losing streak and ended three straight wins by DePaul.

    As a rival game usually is, it wouldn't be decided until the end. There were six lead changes and ties. The Demons had their biggest lead in the game at six points when they led 15-9 with 11 minutes 52 seconds left in the first half. Marquette came back and went ahead on Sarina Simmons' steal and layup to lead 17-15. Simmons' basket capped an 8-0 run by the Golden Eagles.

    DePaul took a 1-point lead, then Marquette regained it. The half ended with neither team at an advantage and a 33-33 tie.

    Marquette led early in the second half and DePaul caught up again, tying the score at 41-41 with 14:11 left in the game. After the last deadlock coming at 43-43 with 11:06 left, the Golden Eagles were holding on to dear life. They were 10 1/2 minutes away from running their rivals out of town.

    An 8-point advantage by Marquette was the biggest of the game, but DePaul just wouldn't go away. They clawed back into the game and made the Golden Eagles sweat for the final 26 seconds when they were down 2 points at 68-66. Two free-throws by freshman Brooklyn Pumroy sealed the deal for the home team.

    It was a great effort by DePaul sophomore Brittany Hrynko. Her 35 points led all scorers, but it wasn't enough to put the Demons over the top. The Golden Eagles got a much-needed win as they hit the road for three games.

    "It's classic Marquette-DePaul," Marquette coach Terri Mitchell said. "It's always going to be a battle. It's always going to be emotional. It's going to be close most times. I look back in the history. There isn't many games where there are ever blowouts."

    Arlesia Morse led MU with 24 points in 35 minutes and was the sparkplug that the team needed to get their third Big East win of the season and put them a game above .500 at 11-10. "It's a rivalry game," Morse said. "I just know that feeling of when you play a team that's your rival. That don't stop you from losing. That's how I felt tonight that we weren't going to lose."

    The inspiration in the locker room before the game and the jubilation after it was over helped Marquette pull closer to the all-time series record, which DePaul leads, 35-22, including an 8-4 mark over the Golden Eagles since they both joined the Big East. Katherine Plouffe was the only other player in double figures with 18 points.