Through the first 5:14, this game started to look similar to the contest between Marquette and Vermont from last year, which Marquette won 68-19. The Golden Eagles opened up a 18-5 lead quickly. But the Catamounts (or as Mrs. B says, the Lady Taylor F. Coppenraths) learned something from last year and asserted themselves. Vermont went on a 16-3 run over the next 6 minutes to pull the score even at 21. Marquette wound up heading to the locker room at the half up by just 2 points, 35-33.
The story of the first half was how both teams dealt with the defensive side of the court. Vermont's leading scorer, Lauren Buschmann hit for 12 points, just shy of her usual average of 13.5, while the Catamounts were able to hold Marquette's leaders, Katherine Plouffe and Sarina Simmons, to a combined 6 points. But while Vermont's game plan was working, Marquette's other players stepped up. Apiew Ojulu and Gabi Minix both had 10 points at the midway point and Arlesia Morse chipped in 9. Minix's 10 were a career high for the sophomore in just 16 minutes of action.
The second half started out tight, seeing 5 ties in the first 8:32. But down the stretch, it became The Apiew Ojulu Show, as the freshman center hit on 7 free throws and 2 field goals for 11 points as Marquette slowly pulled away to win by that exact margin.
Let's go to the highlights!
After the jump: Four Factors, Awards and Whimsy!
eFG%: Marquette - 44.1% UV - 45.7%
Turnover%: Marquette - 20.3 UV - 26.6%
OReb%: Marquette - 44.7% UV - 36.1%
FT Rate: Marquette - 45.8% UV - 17.2%
Points Per Possession: Marquette - 1.03 UV - 0.89
Abbie Willenborg Player Of The Game: Apiew Ojulu's game and career high 25 points, combined with a smattering of rebounds, assists, steals and blocks is worthy of notice, but Katherine Plouffe finished 3 assists short of a triple double with 17 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists. Plouffe also tacked on 2 blocks and 3 steals, so she gets this one today.
Clare Barnard Undersung Eagle Of The Game: As mentioned earlier, Gabi Minix hit her career high in just the first half before adding one free throw late in the 2nd half for 11. She also had 6 assists and 3 steals compared to just 1 turnover the entire game.
Whimsy: HOBBIT TRAILER ALL UP IN HERE!
Up Next: Marquette takes another long stretch off before reconvening to head on the road for their last non-conference game at Toledo on New Year's Eve.