Louisville stayed close in the first half. Marquette lead 34-30, as Louisville's star freshman Angel Mc Coughtry single-handedly kept her team in the game.
"Angel is an incredible player that we had to give a lot of attention to," said Marquette coach Terri Mitchell. "Some of those shots, she hit were incredible shots. She shot right over us. I think the second half we did a much better job of covering her, especially on the offensive boards. As long as you make her work and cover the other players, one of them has to give."
And it did. Marquette held the Lousiville star to a relatively modest ten points in the second half, put a lid on the basket for the rest of the Louisville team, forcing 26 turnovers. After Lousiville forward Tokova Yuliya hit one of two free-throws to cut the Marquette lead to three early in the second half, the Golden Eagles went on a 12-0 run to pretty much put the game out of reach. Marquette spent most of the rest of the game slowing the pace down and burning time off the clock.
Meanwhile, Marquette took control under the basket. Lead by center Christina Quaye's 20 points and point guard Krystal Ellis's nineteen.
Louisville Coach Tom Collen expressed frustration at his team's performance in the second half.
"They were trying to take (Mc Coughtry) out the whole game. A lot of it was execution. A lot of it was our fault. I thought MU guarded her hard the whole game. We had teams that guarded her harder. The turnovers hurt a lot. A lot of times, we worked hard on defense to force a turnover, then played frenzied on offense and turned it over right back."
The win puts Marquette in good position for a first round bye in the Big East tournament. They are alone in second place, pending the result of Rutgers' game at Villanova tonight. But Mitchell was ready to claim nothing.
"We have three tough games to play. This was a big game protecting the home court. We have three games left, two on the road. We have a tough game Tuesday night. Seton Hall plays extremely well at home. That is the way it is in the Big East. No gimmes, no off-nights. We are excited to possibly have the opportunity to finish second, but we're just concentrating on Seton Hall."
The Marquette women travel to Seton Hall Tuesday, before returning to close out their home schedule against South Florida next Saturday.