Marquette relied on defense and offensive rebounding on Wednesday to snag a 62-52 win over New Mexico to wrap up non-conference play. The Golden Eagles head to their first Big East game of the season next week with a record of 9-2 on the season.
It was a struggle for both teams to make shots in front of the excitable crowd of Milwaukee Public Schools students, with neither team eclipsing the 35% mark overall or the 38% mark when you switch it over to effective field goal percentage. Marquette made up for their shooting struggles by grabbing up 16 offensive rebounds in the game, which accounted for 33% of their missed shots. That’s an outstanding effort, led by four rebounds on the offensive glass by Danielle King, along with three more each from Erika Davenport and Allazia Blockton.
Marquette made sure that they had the advantage in the second chance department by holding New Mexico to an offensive rebound on just 16% of their missed shots. Davenport and Blockton were the stars on that end as well, snatching up 10 and seven of New Mexico’s misses respectively. Part of Marquette’s effectiveness on the defensive glass was a result of New Mexico abandoning their shot attempts once they went up. The Lobos appeared to be focused on limiting the Marquette fast break, which is a pretty smart way to go about things, even if the Golden Eagles still racked up 23 points in transition.
Marquette got out to a great start in the game, scoring on long balls for three of their first four baskets and taking a 22-17 lead after the first 10 minutes. The Lobos had that lead wiped out before four minutes went by in the second quarter as they went on an 8-0 run capped off by a bucket from Richelle van der Keijl. That basket gave New Mexico their biggest lead of the game at two points, which they matched a few times as the second quarter went on, but it was Marquette holding the halftime advantage at 34-33 thanks to a fast break layup from Amani Wilborn.
The two teams traded a pair of buckets to open the third quarter before Marquette broke the game open with a 9-0 run capped off by a pair of treys from McKayla Yentz to put MU up 47-37. There would be just one more bucket over the final 3:51 of the third, a jumper from UNM’s Cherise Beynon, which really benefited Marquette, who did not play all that well following Yentz’s big buckets.
New Mexico opened the scoring in the fourth quarter, but Marquette dominated the opening five minutes by answering with a 9-0 run to put themselves up 14. They quickly pushed it to 17 with 4:18 remaining, and things seemed pretty secure. Head coach Carolyn Kieger started rolling her bench out to wrap things up, but New Mexico went on a 9-0 run of their own to make it an 8 point game with two minutes to play. That was UNM’s last basket of the game, though, as the Lobos committed two fouls to let Marquette burn some clock and Danielle King canned two freebies in the last minute to provide the final margin.
Yentz’s triples gave her a season high 16 points to lead all scorers. Four Golden Eagles tallied double digits in points, including Erika Davenport, who went for 10 points and 13 rebounds. Allazia Blockton didn’t score at all in the first half, finishing with just six points. She grabbed 10 rebounds to make up for it, though, and she dished four assists and came up with two steals to still make an impact on the game.
New Mexico was led by 14 points from Alex Lapeyrolrie, which is good news for Marquette. UNM is led on the season by van der Keijl, who averages a double-double coming in, but finished with just eight points and nine rebounds. Beynon, who was on the preseason all-Mountain West team, had just nine points, four rebounds, four fouls, and eight turnovers.
How about some highlights courtesy of GoMarquette.com?
Up Next: Big East play! The Golden Eagles open up league play next week Wednesday when they travel to Villanova. The Wildcats are 4-6 on the season after losing to Duke on Wednesday night.