BIG EAST Women’s Basketball Game of the Week: Can DePaul make a comeback?

February doesn’t hold the same prestige as March in the college basketball world, but many seasons have been won and lost in the month leading up to the madness.

And now, as the BIG EAST women’s basketball scene enters the penultimate full month of its season, it begins.

With the conference tournament fast approaching and the league attempting to automatically bid for the NCAA tournament, the chances of increasing the stock and ranking for the postseason are diminishing for many of the teams in the league.

This should make for an electric last few weeks of the regular season.

The final push begins now and things are about to get exciting.

Here’s a look at the BIG EAST women’s basketball games you can check out this week on FloHoops,

which broadcasts league matches throughout the season.

NOTE: All tip-off times are Eastern Time and are subject to change.

DePaul Vs. Creighton

DePaul, simply put, is in crisis mode, and it’s not really the Blue Demons’ fault.

2023 DePaul vs. Creighton – Women

Wracked by injuries the past few weeks, DePaul has lost three straight and 6-of-7 to begin its scheduled game against Seton Hall on Saturday, which was forced to be postponed due to the Blue Demons not meeting the conference minimum of seven scholarship players available, mirroring what UConn had to do against the Blue Demons themselves for a scheduled game in early January.

As of this writing on Monday night, DePaul is still set to travel to Creighton (who is fourth in the BIG EAST) and face the Bluejays for their second conference meeting of the season, but as the situation remains volatile in the locker room at DePaul, things could change quickly between now and Wednesday night.

If word does come, what will likely be an underachieving (but still dangerously strong) Blue Demons squad will look to pull out a key win in Omaha and keep their slim NCAA Tournament hopes alive with a fiery start to February .

Sophomore superstar Aniesa Morrow (25 points, 11.9 rebounds, 2.6 steals per game) was unaffected by DePaul’s injury bug and started every game, unsurprisingly keeping her pace through the struggles of being one of the -used players in America.

Morrow has been used in her team’s games on a whopping 38.3 percent of possessions, according to women’s basketball analytics site Her Hoop Stats.

But the overall ability of one of the BIG EAST’s most efficient and well-rounded teams in the Bluejays will be a challenge for the Blue Demons to handle, with Creighton’s 27-10 fourth-quarter surge to drop their first meeting in December 31 a prime example of the Bluejays’ efficiency and ability to turn on the Jets in a hurry.

Providence Vs. Seton Hall

After starting 6-1 in BIG EAST play, losses in quick succession to Creighton, UConn and Marquette were disheartening (especially by double digits in all three games), but also somewhat understandable since they are all top-5 ranked of the league.

2023 Providence vs. Seton Hall – Women

Last week’s loss to the Georgetown Pirates, who have toiled near the bottom of the conference table for most of the season, wasn’t all that understandable, and with a game against St. John’s coming up this week as well, Seton Hall is in danger of a major comeback back – if it is not already among one.

This is where Providence can step in and secure a big win to improve its BIG EAST Tournament potential down the line.

The Friars have already shown they have the ability to win as an underdog this season, most notably beating Creighton in a 79-75 victory on Jan. 4.

Providence also has a player in Grace Ephosa who seems to have found her groove in conference play, averaging 11.4 points per game against BIG EAST competition this year and knocking down a game-winner with 4.4 seconds left just this past weekend in the Wild 50-48 triumph at Xavier.

Still, Seton Hall has gotten off to such a good start in the league for a reason — when its offense is clicking and in high gear, few others in the conference can sustain it.

The main difference in the last four games, though, is that the same offense hasn’t really shown up: 75.4 points per game over the Pirates’ 6-1 start has given way to just 59.5 points per game in their last four games.

Lauren Park-Lane (18.6 ppg) and Sydney Cooks (14.9) are doing their part trying to keep the ball, but will likely need help on the offensive end if the Pirates are to return to consistent ways to win again this season.

Villanova Vs. Housekeeper

After losing by just five points on the road against another loaded UConn team this past weekend, Villanova further cemented itself as a monster team that could be positioned for an NCAA Tournament appearance, similar to Creighton’s push to last year’s Elite Eight.

2023 Villanova vs. Butler – Women

At the same time, though, the Wildcats have also been prone to some close games in conference play, winning four games by single digits against BIG EAST opponents this season and two by one possession.

Yes, All-American Maddy Siegrist — recently crowned Villanova’s all-time leading scorer, male or female, after crossing the line in a win against Creighton late last month — is a devastating one-woman team unlike few other players in the country , and her influence in the late games undoubtedly played a role in ‘Nova sneaking in some close ones.

But given that Butler kept somewhat of a striking distance when visiting Villanova on Jan. 8, losing 68-58, don’t write off the Bulldogs (who are trying to find their way out of the BIG EAST basement in second-to-last place) right away in this one, especially in Indianapolis.

Lately, Butler has also been playing some of the best basketball it has this year, nearly pulling off back-to-back upsets over St. John’s and Marquette. The Bulldogs ended up losing to each team by just two points and shot over 50% from 3-point range in both games.

Here’s the more pressing problem for Butler, though, heading into this weekend’s rematch: He hasn’t shown any idea how he plans to stop Siegrist.

The reigning BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year recorded a ridiculous 36-point, 13-rebound double-double for the Bulldogs the first time around, and if he gets close to those numbers again (Villanova is 7-1 when Siegrist scores 30 or more), ‘New probably coming out of the Hoosier state with a W.

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