Marquette Escapes Villanova For Semifinal Bid

Terri Mitchell, Marquette

Terri Mitchell, Marquette

March 10, 2014

Box Score

Postgame Quotes

Postgame Press Conference: Marquette | Villanova

ROSEMONT, Ill. - Katherine Plouffe hit two free throws with 18 seconds to play to give fifth seed Marquette the go-ahead points in a 56-53 BIG EAST Quarterfinal victory over No. 4 Villanova on Sunday.

Teammate Ashley Santos added a pair of insurance free throws with 12 seconds showing as the Golden Eagles (21-9) secured a date with top-seed DePaul in Monday's BIG EAST Semifinals.

Plouffe scored a team-high 14 points while Brooklyn Pumroy added 11 as Marquette beat Villanova for the first time in three meetings this season.

The Wildcats (22-8) led 53-51 with 1:25 to play following Caroline Coyer's go-ahead jumper that capped a rally from a seven-point deficit. Plouffe cut the margin to one with a free throw with 1:06 to play but failed to tie as she missed the second try.

But she got another chance after being fouled by Villanova center Emily Leer with 18.4 seconds left and put her team ahead for good.

Devon Kane paced Villanova with a game-high 19 points, Taylor Holeman had 13 and Coyer added 10.

Marquette led 27-25 at halftime, a margin trimmed by a buzzer-beating jumper by Villanova's Kane who closed with a game-high 14 first-half points.

The second half featured three ties and four lead changes until the Golden Eagles' late free throws settled matters.

The Wildcats claimed wins in two regular-season meetings including a 63-61 decision on Dec. 31 in Milwaukee and an 81-64 season finale triumph last week at home.

Villanova's Kane (first team) and Caroline Coyer (sixth man) earned Big East post-season honors. Marquette's Plouffe was named Big East first team and scholar athlete of the year.

--Jack McCarthy