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Closer Than It Should Have Been: Marquette 69, Mississippi Valley State 61

Sarina Simmons posted the most rebounds ever in the Al McGuire Center by a Golden Eagle with 19 to go along with 12 points for her 6th career double-double to carry Marquette (1-0) to a 69-61 victory over Mississippi Valley State (0-1). Simmons filled the stat sheet from all directions, adding five steals, four assists and three blocks to her double digit totals.

The first half was a back and forth affair with 7 ties and the biggest lead being the Devillettes at 5 with 9:46 left in the period. MVSU took advantage of 14 fast break points to take a 33-32 lead into the half. Marquette would cause the last tie of the game with 17:40 remaining on a Lauren Tibbs fast break basket. Tibbs' basket was the tipping point of a 30-8 run by Marquette that gave the Golden Eagles a 63-46 lead with 6:49 left. But Marquette's inexperience began to show. The Golden Eagles committed 4 fouls and 6 turnovers while missing every one of their last 7 shots in the game to watch the lead eventually dwindle to 5. Six free throws on 10 attempts down the stretch was the only offense Marquette could manage, but it turned out to be enough. Katherine Plouffe hit 2 with 1:24 remaining to push the lead back to 7 and the Golden Eagles were able to hold on from there for a 8 point win.

Plouffe lead the team in scoring with 19 and Gabi Minix had 9 assists in her first career start. MVSU was paced by 12 points from both Ka'Neeshia Smith and Alia Frank.

Let's go to the highlights!

Marquette returns to action on Tuesday night against Wisconsin, as Badger Hate Week comes early for the women's team.