One of the many questions heading into the women’s college basketball season is how teams handle the truncated non-conference schedule.
Providence began their season last Wednesday. Marquette, only five days ago. But both teams dive right into BIG EAST conference play on Friday at the Al McGuire Center in Milwaukee.
Marquette is 1-1 and looking to rebound after losing on Wednesday at home to Milwaukee, 55-64.
Coach Megan Duffy is back for her second season after being named the BIG EAST Coach of the Year in the spring. Last year she exceeded all expectations, leading the Golden Eagles to a 24-8 record, a second-place conference finish in the regular season and runner-up in the BIG EAST Tournament.
The conference’s preseason poll has the Golden Eagles third, behind UConn and DePaul.
In those same preseason prognostications, Selena Lott was named Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team. The 5’11 guard averaged 15.5 points per game in her junior year on 52.5% shooting. She was a stalwart for the Golden Eagles--starting 30 games, leading the team in assists and steals and pouring in five 20-point games. Lott hasn’t had an offensive explosion yet and shot just 2-11 in the loss to Milwaukee.
The team’s success will also hinge on the play of sophomore point guard, Jordan King. King had a decorated prep career and was tabbed as the best freshman in the conference entering last season. She got plenty of experience in 2019-2020, starting all 32 games. In the opener, King led the team with 20 points on 16 shots from the field.
Fellow sophomore, Camryn Taylor has already shown big improvements from her freshman year. The 6’2 forward scored 17 points in the opener against North Dakota and then had a career-high of 27 points against Milwaukee. She’s been a force on the glass as well, grabbing 20 rebounds in the first two games, including 12 offensive boards.
Keeping Taylor off the glass will be one of the priorities for a 2-2 Providence team. The Friars went 13-19 last year, but have seven upperclassmen on their roster. They opened the season with a loss to Quinnipiac before getting back-to-back victories over Rhode Island and Bryant. On Wednesday, they lost 46-58 at Boston College.
Mary Baskerville, a 6’3 forward, leads Providence in scoring with 17.3 points per game. The junior scored 20 points in the loss to Boston College, 18 coming in the second half after being limited by foul trouble in the first half. The Friars feature two other double-digit scorers, Alyssa Geary and Chanell Williams.
Geary, 6’4, is averaging 10.3 points per game and leads the team in assists. Chanell Williams is also averaging 10.3 points per game. She’s 5-7 on the year on three-pointers after making just four all of last season.