Well, when you turn it over 25 times and still win, you can’t really complain too loudly. That’s the story out of Cincinnati on Tuesday afternoon, as Marquette women’s basketball went into Cintas Center and came away with a 69-56 victory over Xavier that wasn’t even that close. The Golden Eagles are now 6-1 on the year as they head into their Christmas break and 3-0 in Big East play, which has them tied for first place for the time being with Connecticut.
Six turnovers in the first quarter for the Golden Eagles went a long way towards explaining why the visitors were only up 15-11 after 10 minutes. Eight more turnovers stopped Marquette from really running away with this game, but even with that being the case, they still led by double digits with over three minutes left before halftime and by 14 at intermission. Xavier did their part to help there as the Musketeers shot just 8-for-33 from the field in the first half with top scorers Nia Clark and A’riana Gray combining to go 6-for-17 and tally 17 of XU’s 21 points.
Free throws by Ayanna Townsend and a layup by Clark quickly trimmed Marquette’s lead down to just 10 at the start of the third quarter. The game officially flipped up at the 6:52 mark of the third when Selena Lott got a layup to go to jumpstart a 9-0 run over the next two and a half minutes. That put Marquette up 20, and that pretty much brought an end to the game. Xavier cut it back to 14 pretty quickly after that, but two buckets in the final 80 seconds by Camryn Taylor made it an 18 point game as the fourth quarter began. Those two from Taylor were the start of an 11-2 run by the Golden Eagles bridging into the final frame. At that point, MU was up 64-41, and Xavier ending the game on a 12-2 run had absolutely no impact on the outcome.
69 points is a relatively low scoring affair, but again, that’s what happens when you turn the ball over 25 times. Marquette still finished the game tallying 0.96 points per possession even though nearly 35% of possessions ended with Xavier calmly taking control of the ball. The Golden Eagles shot 57% from the field, and did most of their damage on the interior, but a 3-for-6 performance from long range was definitely welcome. Selena Lott led MU with 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting, and she added two rebounds, and three assists to her day. Lott was joined in double digit land by Jordan King and Liza Karlen, both of whom tallied 10 points. Camryn Taylor and Lauren Van Kleunen tied for the team lead in rebounds with seven, while five different Golden Eagles recorded three assists to lead the team in that department.
In the turnover area, King and Taylor are the two women who most have to think about what they did today, with both women getting charged for five giveaways. Still, that’s only 10 of 25, so it’s not like the rest of the team is innocent in handcuffing the squad’s potential here.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and the Big East Digital Network on FloSports?
Up Next: Ah, that’s slightly complicated. You’re expecting me to say that it’s Connecticut, as that’s what the league announced just four days ago. However, on Tuesday, before Marquette’s game tipped off, the Big East announced some adjustments to the schedule due to games like last Saturday’s scheduled trip to Seton Hall getting postponed. With that in mind, instead of Marquette getting back in action on December 30th at home against UConn, it will be January 3rd, still at home, but instead it will be DePaul coming to town. The Blue Demons are 4-2 on the year as I type this recap, with both losses coming against top 15 ranked opponents, but with a win over #9 Kentucky. They wrap up their pre-Christmas schedule on Tuesday night with a visit to Creighton for their second Big East game of the season.