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Marquette Women’s Basketball Pulls Away From Providence

The Golden Eagles finally have a win in Big East action.

Lauren Van Kleunen
Lauren Van Kleunen has been a force for Marquette in the last few games.

If I told you early on Sunday morning that Marquette women’s basketball would give up 24 points and eight rebounds to Providence’s Mary Baskerville on 10-of-14 shooting and turn the ball over on 31% of their possessions, what would you think the result of the game between the Golden Eagles and the Friars would be?

Probably not good, right?

Well, outside of Baskerville, the Golden Eagles locked down tight on defense, holding the Friars to just 8-for-39 shooting, and Marquette pulled away in the second half for the 60-50 win. It’s the 10th win of the year overall for Marquette as they move to 10-4, as well as the first win of Big East play for MU as they are now 1-2 in the league.

We’ll be honest here, as we always are: This game did not start out to be beautifully played basketball. Neither team cracked 43% shooting in the opening 10 minutes as Marquette jumped out to a not exactly thrilling 10-7 lead. The second quarter was more along the lines of what you’d want to watch if you were a neutral fan, although Marquette fans were left saying “oh gosh darn” as it was the Friars holding the 27-26 lead at the break.

That thought didn’t last as the Golden Eagles started grabbing the advantage in the third period, starting with Lauren Van Kleunen draining a pair of freebies off an offensive rebound to opening up the scoring. That gave Marquette a lead that they would, as it turns out, never relinquish. Isabelle Spingola buried a three on MU’s next possession, and from there on out, Providence was chasing them. A transition three from Selena Lott bumped the margin to six points midway through the frame, and that ended up being the margin heading to the fourth.

This isn’t to say that Providence was just going away quietly. Far from it, in fact. That’s how you go five minutes without the lead getting bigger than six points. However, it was just tipping over the edge for Marquette, and just over two minutes into the fourth, LVK gave the Golden Eagles a 10 point lead for the first time in the game. Kaela Webb would answer with a three 10 seconds later to cut the MU margin to just seven, but that’s as close as the Friars would get for the rest of the way.

Oh, remember that point I made about Baskerville at the top? Yeah, that’s important now. She put in three of her 10 buckets in this game with less than six minutes to go in the game. Her baskets cut Marquette’s lead to 1) nine, 2) nine, and 3) seven. Yes, her final stat line is a bit gaudy but she had 18 points and 7 rebounds (that’s really good!) while this game was still competitive, and ultimately, it didn’t make a bit of difference on the outcome because she was really the only Friar that mattered on offense. Marquette took everything else away from Jim Crowley’s squad on Sunday, and thus left Rhode Island with the win.

Van Kleunen led Marquette in scoring 18 points, chipping in eight rebounds and two assists as well. Jordan King had a quality game, which is something that we’ve struggled to say lately, getting 11 points, two rebounds, and two assists. No one else managed to crack double digits — that’s what happens when you only score 60 — but there’s some really great performances across the board. Spingola had nine points and seven rebounds, Lott added an 8/4/6 afternoon to the show, and Altia Anderson had a very nice six points and nine rebounds. Providence also very much helped Marquette’s cause on the day by booting seven of their own missed shots out of bounds to give MU a team defensive rebound. Rebounding was a very big story in this one, as the Golden Eagles wrapped up nearly 39% of their own misses, while the Friars only managed to get to 14% of theirs. Those seven lost rebounds out of bounds by PC had a pretttttty big impact on the game, if you think about it.

Up Next: Marquette returns home for a game for the first time since before Christmas. St. John’s will be coming to the McGuire Center on Friday night, while Seton Hall will pop into town on Sunday afternoon after visiting DePaul on Friday first.