An 18-8 third quarter at Carnesecca Arena featuring an 11-2 run in the first six minutes was the key to victory for Marquette women’s basketball on Sunday afternoon. That big push ended up with Marquette high-fiving at the end thanks to a 67-57 final score favoring the visiting team. MU is now 18-6 on the year and 9-4 in Big East play.
Thanks to the other results in the league on Sunday, the Golden Eagles currently sit alone in third place. In addition to that, thanks to the other results in the Big East over the weekend, Marquette is now guaranteed to finish no lower than seventh place in the conference. I point this out with five games left to go because, as you might remember, the Big East coaches voted Marquette to finish ninth this season.
It’s not that the 18-8 third period made a big difference in the game, it’s the fact that Marquette and St. John’s were tied at the end of the first quarter at 20-all, as well as tied at halftime at 32-all. The signs were there that Marquette was in control of the game all along as the Golden Eagles managed to take five point leads at one point in each quarter. Still, those leads were gone by the time the 10 minute horn sounded in each case, and the game was reduced to a 20 minute contest.
It started just over a minute in as Selena Lott found a cutting Chloe Marotta for a bucket and she drew the foul for the and-1 as well. Jordan King got in on the action 80 seconds later off a drive and a nifty pivot in the lane for a layup. Another 90 seconds rolled off the clock before Marquette scored again, with Marotta finding the rim on a curling post move through the lane. That 7-0 run prompted a timeout from SJU head coach Joe Tartamella, and after the two sides traded turnovers, St. John’s finally got on the board in the quarter with 5:17 to go. Marquette answered with with a bucket in deep from Isabelle Spingola off a high/low pass from Camryn Taylor and followed a St. John’s miss on the other end with a Claire Kaifes jumper with her heels on the line after stepping in to dodge a St. John’s defender.
Marquette up 9. Just like that.
The lead wobbled, as St. John’s cut it down to five with 46 seconds left in the half on a free throw by Tiana England, but the Golden Eagles tacked on an and-1 jumper from Spingola and a bucket in the lane from Taylor to make it 10 points at the end of the quarter.
Marquette took full advantage of holding that advantage in the fourth quarter, blowing the lead out to 17 on a Selena Lott layup with just under four minutes left. At that point, all MU had to do was hold on to win.
One thing that Marquette had to be wary of in this game was St. John’s three-point shooting. The Red Storm were lighting it up against Marquette in the game in Milwaukee, and they started off hot in this one. St. John’s hit four of their seven attempts in the first quarter, but the Golden Eagles got things sorted after that. The Johnnies would hist just two more threes for the entire game while launching 13 times from behind the arc. Don’t get me wrong, Marquette was no great shakes from behind the arc in this one, missing all seven of their attempts from downtown. Still, the Golden Eagles did what needed to be done and ended up outshooting St. John’s on the day. MU finished with an effective field goal percentage of 49.1% against just 36.8% for SJU.
It was Altia Anderson leading the charge inside the arc draining all seven of her shots in the game to finish with a game — and career — high 15 points to go with five rebounds and a block. Spingola added 11 points, eight rebounds and three assists, while Marotta and Taylor added 11 points and 10 points respectively off the bench. The weird part? Neither Marotta nor Taylor recorded a rebound in the game. Then again, there weren’t that many left to go around, as all five of Marquette’s starters finished the game with at least five rebounds.
Up Next: It’s back to Milwaukee, obviously, because the road trip weekend is over, but also because the Golden Eagles will be back at home next weekend as well.