Despite four players in double digits in scoring, Marquette women’s basketball needed some late free throws from Allazia Blockton to ice away a 78-75 exhibition game victory over Minnesota State on Sunday afternoon.
Thaaaaaaaaaaat’s not great.
Here are the things that worry me about this contest and its result, in no particular order:
The newcomers played a grand total of five minutes.
Four minutes for Altia Anderson, one minute for Isabelle Spingola. Lauren Van Kleunen and Meghan Mandel? Nothing. Redshirt junior Chelsey Gibson, who sat out last year with an injury? Also nothing.
Now, I’m not faulting head coach Carolyn Kieger for sticking with the players that she trusts in tight situations. However, she had to stick with the players that she trusts in tight situations because the whole game was a tight situation, and thus, relatively speaking, none of the newcomers got a chance to get out there and get some of the jitters out of their system. One of the reasons to be excited about what this team can do this year is their newfound depth...... but it seems like that depth isn’t ready to contribute yet.
Marquette shot the ball poorly.
A year ago, Marquette shot 43% overall and 33% from three point land for a 48.0% effective field goal percentage. In this game, MU shot 37% from the floor and 14% on threes for an eFG% of 39.3%.
This is no good.
The biggest issues were Olivia Moskari and McKayla Yentz combining to go 1-for-11 on triples. The rest of it, honestly, isn’t that bad. If you want to have issues with Amani Wilborn’s 5-13, eh, that’s up to you, and the same for Allazia Blockton’s 6-15. Those aren’t great, sure, but they’re not that awful, at least not individually. If they had both hit one more shot each, it wouldn’t even be that noticeable.
Marquette got worked on the defensive glass.
Allowing Minnesota State to get to 41% of their missed shots is bad enough. Last year, the Golden Eagles weren’t necessarily great at defensive rebounding (allowing a rate of 34%), but again, the hope for this season was that their newly added size would help alleviate that problem. Unfortunately, the newly added size to the roster didn’t play in this game, so the returning Golden Eagles were on their own.
What made this worse was the fact that MSU didn’t actually miss all that much. They had an eFG% of 51.7%, so they were shooting the ball much, much, much better than Marquette and then getting to an awful lot of their misses for a second chance on the rare shots that they missed. It’s really an awful combination.