Heading to the final quarter on Thursday night at the Al McGuire Center, things were not serene and calm. Six straight points from St. Francis College had pulled the Terriers within five points of Marquette women’s basketball, 60-55. Marquette had led by 11 with 81 seconds left in the quarter, and now things weren’t looking as hot as they were just mere moments earlier. SFC opened up the fourth with a layup from Ally Lassen for two of her team high 24 points, and now it was a three-point ballgame.
And then Marquette exploded for a 21-9 run.
The layup from Claire Kaifes — her only basket of the game and believe it or not, her first collegiate points — put the Golden Eagles up 15, 81-66. From there on out, it was just a matter of hammering the nails deeper into the Terriers’ coffin, and eventually, Marquette outscored SFC 32-16 in the final quarter and had themselves a 21 point victory, 92-71. The win moved Marquette to 2-0 on the year as well as keep them undefeated under new head coach Megan Duffy.
The giant margin on the final scoreboard feels like a reward well earned for Marquette. They played a good game the whole way through against St. Francis, and while it was mostly close for the majority of the action and very close there at the start of the fourth, it felt like MU earned the win all the way through. Marquette felt like the better team pretty much at all times, and to come away with a 21 point win as a result is pretty good.
Marquette’s big advantage in the game came on the glass. The Golden Eagles ripped down a whopping 54% of their own missed shots, giving them 20 second chance opportunities in the game, and they converted those into 21 points on the scoreboard. Six different MU players had at least two offensive rebounds, led by six from Chloe Marotta. On the other end of the court, SFC was only able to get to 13% of their misses, as four Golden Eagles — again led by Marotta with six — had at least four defensive rebounds in the game.
At the end of the day, all of those Marquette rebounds meant that the Golden Eagles had 18 more field goal attempts than St. Francis. They turned into 11 extra makes for the Golden Eagles, and sometimes the little things become the biggest things.
While Selena Lott led Marquette with a stellar 24 point, five rebound, eight assist performance, the big name on the night was Chloe Marotta. The Marquette sophomore had a huge breakout game for the Golden Eagles. She recorded a career high 20 points on 8-for-14 shooting, including a dead-eye straight away three-pointer, as well as a career high 12 rebounds. In her free time, she dealt three assists, blocked a shot, and came up with three steals. Somehow she made freshman Camryn Taylor’s 15/7/3 with a block look pedestrian and common place.
Up Next: The Golden Eagles will be off until Sunday, which will be Frozen Day at the McGuire Center. A little birdie told me that Princess Anna AND Princess Elsa will be at the game, so bring the whole family down to see Marquette take on Illinois State. The Redbirds are technically 1-0 on the season after an 87-60 win against Division 2 Truman State back on Tuesday night.