With 2:32 to go in the third quarter on Wednesday afternoon at the McGuire Center, Leilani Correa scored off a dish from Raven Farley to give St. John’s a 48-41 lead over Marquette. It was Correa’s 11th bucket of the game and it gave her 31 of the Red Storm’s 48 points on the day. It had been a relatively speaking back and forth contest for the last 27 minutes and change, although St. John’s had not surrendered the lead since the first quarter. Still, with Marquette having no answer for Correa and the Johnnies pushing the lead to seven after leading by six at the half, things did not look super great for the Golden Eagles in their second Big East game of the season.
Marquette won, 66-62.
Leilani Correa did not score again.
The rundown of Leilani Correa’s contribution to the stat sheet after she scored her 31st point of the game: 0-for-3 from the field after going 11-for-18, no free throw attempts after going 8-for-8, two of her six rebounds, three of her four steals, both of her assists in the game, two of her three personal fouls, and four of her six turnovers, including one of the offensive foul variety.
Immediately after Correa’s last bucket of the game, Marquette launched themselves on a 15-3 run over the next 6:30. That was the ball game right there. They managed to corral Correa’s impact on the game, exploded past the Red Storm, and made the Johnnies have to come at them for the remaining eight minutes of the game..... but without impact from Correa.
The big name in that 13-3 run? Freshman Liza Karlen. She got it off and running with the first two buckets as MU closed the quarter on a 6-0 burst. In the fourth quarter, a triple from Emma Nolan stemmed the tide for St. John’s, knotting the game up at 51 each, but the freshman from Minnesota stepped outside and banged home one of her own to put the Golden Eagles up by three.
Still, even after Lauren Van Kleunen scored in the paint to make it a 56-51 game with 6:05 to go, things were far from over. The Johnnies got the next three buckets of the game to go back up 57-56 on a jumper from Kadaja Bailey. Marquette answered with one of just two baskets in the game from Camryn Taylor and a three from Selena Lott. Nolan drew a foul inside sticking a blocked Correa shot back up and in. LVK fouled Bailey after blocking her first shot. That’s five straight for the Johnnies, and that means they were up 62-61 with 1:45 to go.
Marquette’s chance to re-take the lead. Kadaja Bailey swipes a skip pass by Claire Kaifes and takes off towards the other end for a layup to go up three...... and. she. just. clanks. it. hard. off. the. back. of. the. rim. I’m trying to explain to you what time felt like as the wide open transition layup attempt went up and just bounced harmlessly away from the net. Kaifes hauled in the rebound, and MU called timeout to draw up a LVK hook in the lane to get that bucket to lead.
St. John’s burned 20 seconds of clock looking for a shot since they were only down one, and after a timeout by head coach Joe Tartamella, they got a great feed from Bailey to Raven Farley in the lane as LVK rotated to help on defense..... and Kaifes swatted it out of bounds. What St. John’s did not seem to realize is that there was just 11 seconds left on the shot clock after the timeout. They inbounded with two seconds left and appeared to have no idea that was the case and did not even try to take a look at the rim. Marquette ball, and St. John’s needed to commit three fouls to get Marquette into the bonus to get it back..... and it took them three seconds to realize this.
Kaifes split a pair of freebies eventually, so the game was still up for grabs, 64-62, with 15 seconds to play. Enter Jordan King, who dove down on a Bailey drive and got all ball to pin it against Bailey’s leg, causing her to knee strike the ball out of bounds. MU gets possession, SJU fouls Lott immediately, and two free throws later, ball game over.
A wild and dramatic close to the game after Marquette was chasing after St. John’s for the majority of it, even after the Golden Eagles jumped out to a 12-4 lead in the first three minutes. A win is a win, though, and Marquette is now 2-0 in league play and the first team to win two league games this season.
One note for the return bout in New York, whenever that happens: Qadashah Hoppie did not play in this game. She missed the first three games of the year for the Johnnies, but did play — and play extremely well — in their last two outings. Hoppie was notable in street clothes on the St. John’s bench thanks to her bright red hair, but there was no mention of her absence from the court during the broadcast. Hoppie provides a diffferent dimension to the Red Storm offense given her green light to shoot (and make) threes, so we’ll see what happens later this season.
Correa was still the leading scorer in the game even though Marquette put the clamps on her for the final 12 minutes, but Lott led Marquette with 21 points on 7-for-13 shooting. The senior from New York added five rebounds, four assists, and a steal to show why she was named Big East Player of the Week on Monday. Lauren Van Kleunen added 12 points, two rebounds, and one each in the assist, block, and steal columns in a foul-laden 24 minutes. Jordan King was quietly good, getting a 6/2/8/1/5 line, including getting credit for a steal on that poke on Bailey in the closing seconds. Chloe Marotta added 6/6/3, and Antwainette Walker had a really good 16 minutes off the bench, finishing with six points, and four rebounds.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and FloHoops?
Up Next: Marquette will wrap up the announced Big East schedule between now and Christmas with two road games. On Saturday afternoon, they’ll be out in New Jersey to tangle with Seton Hall. The Pirates are 2-2 on the year and 0-1 in league play after getting blitzed, 92-65, by #3 Connecticut on Tuesday night. The game will tip off at noon central on FloHoops.