Marquette women’s basketball turned the Al McGuire Center into a firing range on Friday afternoon, knocking down nine of their 17 long range attempts on their way to a 73-51 win over Georgetown. The Golden Eagles are now 14-5 on the year and 5-3 in Big East play, putting them into a tie for third place in the league for the time being.
As big of a final margin as the game had, it did not start out that well for the Golden Eagles. Georgetown scored on seven of their first 12 possessions and with 3:30 left in the first quarter, Nikola Kovacikova staked the Hoyas to a 16-6 lead on her first three-point attempt of the game. The Golden Eagles had already turned the ball over three times by that point, and Jordan King coughed it up for their fourth turnover of the quarter on MU’s ensuing possession.
That was pretty much the low point of the game for Marquette. Selena Lott hit one of her two triples in the game on MU’s next possession, and she got to the charity stripe for two makes 50 seconds later. That was the start of a 7-0 to end the quarter that turned into a 9-0 run when Lauren Van Kleunen broke the ice on the second quarter. All of a sudden, it was a 16-15 Georgetown lead, and the Hoyas hadn’t scored in five minutes.
As the second quarter wore on, Marquette uncorked a 14-3 run to bump themselves out to an eight point lead, and if you want to think about it this way, that run really ended up at 19-3, or even 22-5 if you care to go that far back. In any case, the point here is that Georgetown led by four points early in the second quarter, but it was Marquette up nine when the two teams went to the locker room.
The third quarter was a back and forth affair. Marquette went up 11 early on, but the Hoyas would fight back within six at multiple points. Still, it was Isabelle Spingola scoring with four seconds left to give the Golden Eagles a 55-46 lead after 30 minutes, and at the end of the day, that means all Georgetown managed to do was waste 10 minutes of the game.
Marquette scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to make it a 9-0 run including Spingola’s bucket late in the previous frame, and suddenly the lead was 16. Georgetown had no idea what was going on at that point, and the wheels permanently fell off. Brianna Jones got an and-1 to snap that run for Marquette, but the Golden Eagles responded with another nine straight and held the Hoyas without a point for nearly five minutes. The clock had wound under two minutes left, and MU was up 22. Nothing left to do but glide the plane in for a gentle landing.
As shaky as the start was for Marquette on both ends of the court, their 40 minute stats show quite an impressive performance which is actually better than you think given how well the Hoyas were going for the first six minutes. Georgetown shot just 37% in the game in terms of effective field goal percentage, and they turned it over on 30% of possessions in the game. Marquette had them on lockdown once that lead hit 10 in the early going, and the tenacity to accomplish that is impressive.
On the other end, after coughing it up four times very quickly, MU calmed down in a hurry. They would turn the ball over just nine more times for the rest of the game, and while MU struggled to shoot on the interior thanks to Georgetown’s quality defense in the paint, the outside shooting went as well as could be expected. Spingola personally went 6-for-8 from long range in the game to hit a game high 24 points, and she got all three of her attempts inside the arc to fall as well. Megan Duffy’s offensive philosophy shone through by the time the final horn sounded, as MU recorded 22 assists on 27 makes, led by eight helpers from Selena Lott.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com?
Up Next: Marquette will be back in action on Sunday afternoon when they host Villanova to wrap up their first pass through the Big East. The Wildcats are 11-7 overall and 5-2 in the Big East as of this writing. That has them in second place in the league, but they’ll face first place DePaul on Friday night, and thus a Wildcats loss there would move MU into a tie for second instead of third with a tiebreaker game all set to go.