Marquette women’s basketball got a 20-spot from sophomore Jordan King and a double-double from sophomore Camryn Taylor as the Golden Eagles picked up a season opening 90-82 road win over North Dakota on Sunday afternoon. The season is one game old, but head coach Megan Duffy is 1-0 on the year and that’s what’s important.
I missed the start of this one due to a combination of 1) Hulu dropping Fox Sports Wisconsin from their package due to a fees dispute with Sinclair and 2) technical problems on the North Dakota streaming package. With just $3 out the door for a 24 hour pass, I wasn’t worried about the sudden loss in money if the stream never came through, but I was bummed I wasn’t able to catch the action.
What I missed was Marquette going on a 13-2 run late in the first quarter to swing the game around to their favor, 24-15, after 10 minutes. I got in the action during the second quarter, as the Golden Eagles eventually led by as many as 15 points in the frame before settling on eight, 48-40, at the halftime intermission.
Seven straight points to start the third jammed that lead back out to 15 for Marquette, and it would flitter out to 19 points, 62-43, on a jumper from Jordan King with 6:36 left in the period. That would be Marquette’s largest advantage of the game, and they would spend the remaining 16 minutes fending off North Dakota rallies.
Cut it to 15, Claire Kaifes bangs home a three.
Cut it to 13, Lauren Van Kleunen gets a layup on a feed from Chloe Marotta.
Cut it to 10, Marotta gets to the rack on a pass from King.
With 5:21 left in the game, King hit a three-pointer, her second of the game, to kick off an 8-0 run just by King and Taylor alone that left Marquette up 88-70, with exactly four minutes to go. MU would score just one more time — a Taylor putback with 33 seconds left — but they had done enough to manage the win even with UND getting that 12-2 run to end the game.
Marquette leaned heavily on King and Selena Lott, with the two backcourt starters going playing 35 and 37 minutes respectively. Duffy went 11 deep with her bench, though, rolling in three of her freshmen, her freshly eligible transfer, and two returners who didn’t get all that much action a year ago. Is that part of the reason why North Dakota never quite went away? Probably. At worst, it’s enough to give Duffy and her staff something to talk about in film review and in practice going forward.
Turnovers helped paved the way to Marquette’s win. North Dakota coughed it up on over 30% of their possessions in the first half before letting that number eventually settle on 25% for the full 40 minutes. When a full quarter of your possessions end going the other way without a shot going up, that’s not going to go well for you.
Marquette helped their own case out by being the same devastatingly great rebounding team that they were last season. The Golden Eagles shot an effective field goal percentage of 51% in this game, and that’s fine. However, they made North Dakota pay by grabbing up over 40% of the shots that they did miss in the game. On the other end, UND only got to 21% of their misses, which did not help their cause at all.
Taylor finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds, with six of those coming amongst MU’s 17 offensive boards in the contest, and she added three steals to that all in just 23 minutes of action. King put together three rebounds and a team high five assists to go with her team high and career best 20 points. Senior star Selena Lott had a good game as well, getting 15 points thanks to 4-for-9 shooting from downtown, and she chipped in six rebounds, four assists, a block, and two steals.
Up Next: Up very next is finding out if Marquette holds onto their small amounts of preseason Associated Press poll votes when the new poll comes out tomorrow. After that, it’s kind of a quick turnaround for Duffy’s team, as they’ll be out on the floor at the McGuire Center at 1pm on Wednesday for a crosstown showdown against Milwaukee. The Panthers are 2-0 with a home win over Ball State and a road win against Bradley.