Marquette started out strong in Louisville last night. It's always impressive when you stop a ranked team from scoring for the first 2 minutes of a game. Unfortunately, the only offense that they could muster to support that defense was one Apiew Ojulu free throw. The Golden Eagles kept the game tight through most of the first 10 minutes before Louisville would go on an 11-2 run to take a 18-9 lead on a layup by the Cardinals' leading scorer, Shoni Schimmel.
Marquette would fight back and with 1:39 left in the half, Sarina Simmons dropped in a layup that gave Marquette a 1 point lead. But 3 turnovers in the last 65 seconds let Louisville build a 7 point lead by the time the halftime buzzer sounded. Gabi Minix would hit a 3 pointer to cut the lead to 2 less than 2 minutes into the second half, but that would be the closest Marquette would come to the lead again. Freshman guard Bria Smith would score 14 of her 16 points in the second half as Louisville (13-2, 2-0) improved their shooting both from the field and from the charity stripe to pull away from Marquette (9-6, 0-2) by the end.
After the jump: Four Factors, Awards, and Whimsy!
eFG%: MU - 40.4% UL - 47.5%
TO%: MU - 29.5% UL - 20.4%
OReb: MU - 30.5% UL - 36.8%
FT Rate: MU - 53.2% UL - 30.0%
Points Per Possession: MU - 0.78 UL - 1.02
Abbie Willenborg Player Of The Game: Sarina Simmons had 10 of Marquette's 23 first half points to help keep the game close and finished with 17 points, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks, 3 steals and an assist. Heck of a job trying to compensate for Katherine Plouffe, who picked up 3 first half fouls.
Clare Barnard Undersung Eagle Of The Game: Apiew Ojulu just keeps chugging along and making the plays no one notices. 7 points, 10 rebounds and an assist for the freshman center.
Whimsy: Rob Dauster and Troy Machir of Ballin' Is A Habit depart on a huge 16 game cross country road trip tomorrow. You can listen to them talk about it with CBS Sports.com's Matt Norlander here and you can toss them a couple of bucks for gas and Slurpees here. Rob is on Twitter as @ballinisahabit and Troy is @BIAHTroyMachir. I've already started following them to get a full view of all of their antics on their trip. The Marquette men's game against Pitt is on their schedule, by the way.
Up Next: Marquette returns home for their Big East home opener against Seton Hall on Saturday night. General admission tickets, hot dogs and sodas are all $1!