The #16 Marquette Golden Eagles beat Loyola-Maryland 83-63 Sunday afternoon to get their first win of the season and even their record at 1-1. It was a big team effort for MU as they had five players in double-digits. This was just the performance the Golden Eagles needed to wash away the bad taste in their mouth that lingered from the one point loss at New Mexico.
Just like in their first game against the Lobos, MU got ahead early with a 22-16 first quarter advantage. The difference in this game was that the Golden Eagles never let Loyola-MD get back in the game. The only time the Greyhounds were tied was 3-3 at the 8:43 mark of the first quarter. After that, MU didn’t let them get within four points and their lead ballooned to 12 points with a 44-32 halftime advantage. Unlike the Philadelphia 76ers over the weekend (Joel Embiid, I love you but you cannot allow your team to blow a 22-point halftime lead against the Warriors), the Golden Eagles did not look back. They stretched their lead to 20 just three minutes in to the third quarter and led by as much as 24 points in the second half.
Leading the way for the Golden Eagles in scoring was none other than the unanimous preseason Big East Player of the Year Allazia Blockton with 19 points. Danielle King turned in a well-rounded performance with 13 points, seven assists, and four steals. Isabelle Spingola was hot off the bench and went 5-for-11 putting up 13 points. Erika Davenport got her first (of many) double-doubles with 12 points and 10 rebounds in her 23 minutes of action. Rounding out the list of players in double figures was Lauren Van Kleunen with 12 points and seven rebounds. Why is that a big deal? Because the redshirt freshman backed up her strong outing from her first game where she led the team in scoring with another solid performance. This is good to see on many levels but particularly that head coach Carolyn Kieger trusts Van Kleunen to give her quality minutes. She has taken full advantage of that in the first two games of the season.
The only player that did anything significant against MU was sophomore guard Stephanie Karcz. She scored 27 points and added nine rebounds to lead the way for the Greyhounds. It is vaguely troubling that MU allowed one player on the opposition to go bananas again after allowing Jaisa Nunn to drag New Mexico to a win with her 39 point performance. Aside from that, Alexa Grey was the only other player in double-digits with 13 points. Loyola-MD was never really in this game from the start which was expected from a team picked to finish second to last in the Patriot League. But still, credit the Golden Eagles for taking the reins on this game and riding it out to victory.
How about some highlights, courtesy of the Marquette Wire and GoMarquette.com?
The two things that my colleague Brewtown Andy emphasized to look out for in the preview happened in this game. Van Kleunen showed that she’s “for real” with back-to-back strong outings, and Amani Wilborn got her first start after not playing in their first contest. Wilborn was right back to where she was last season, scoring seven points and dishing six assists. Bad news for the Golden Eagles? Natisha Hiedeman and Selena Lott did not play due to an undisclosed team violation as reported by the Marquette Wire. Hopefully, this is only a one game punishment because the Golden Eagles will need both players, but especially Hiedeman, when..........
Up Next: The Golden Eagles will be traveling to Mexico for the Cancun Challenge. They will play #13 Tennessee Thursday before closing out against Montana on Friday.