Karissa McLaughlin scored 21 points in just 23 minutes in her Marquette debut to lead four Golden Eagles in double digits as Megan Duffy’s squad wrecked Alcorn State 96-35 on Tuesday night.
Yes, 96-35. Not a typo.
Technically speaking, this is a come from behind victory for Marquette. Diamond Hall rained in a three on Alcorn’s second possession of the game to put the Braves up 3-2. On the other end, Lauren Van Kleunen scored after a Liza Karlen offensive rebound to kick off the 94-32 run over the final 38:42.
The lead hit 10, 13-3, when LVK split a pair of freebies with 4:35 left in the first quarter. That was part of an 18-0 run that ended what you would call the “competitive” portion of the contest. It was only 35-18 at halftime, but McLaughlin scored the first six points of the third quarter to push the lead past 20 for the first time. A Kennedi Myles layup with 5:52 left in the third made it a 31 point lead, marking the first time things went past 30, and it just kept getting wilder from there.
McLaughlin made it 40, 72-32, with 8:36 left to play in the game. Julianna Okosun got to be the one to crack a 50 point lead, and that came with 6:06 to play, and she got 60 as well when she cashed two free throws with 93 seconds left to put the Golden Eagles up 95-35.
For those of you scoring at home, that is a 61-17 second half for Marquette. The Golden Eagles allowed just six points in the final 10 minutes of action, outpacing the Braves by 24 in the final period alone.
Maybe the only truly interesting statistical note to take away from this game is that Marquette did this essentially without shooting three-pointers. McLaughlin, who happens to be Purdue’s all-time leader in made threes, lived up to the billing by splashing three of her nine attempts.... and the rest of MU’s roster attempted just four long range shots in the entire game. 10 of Marquette’s three-point attempts came in the first half when you could argue that this game was still in doubt, so it certainly seems like Megan Duffy told her team to cool it with those shots. Somehow MU actually put a bigger #BEATEMDOWN on the visitors while only attempting three long range shots in the final 20 minutes as opposed to what happened in the opening two quarters.
Chloe Marotta’s 27 minutes were the most by any Marquette player in this game as Duffy elected to go five deep into her bench in this game and everyone who played got at least 12 minutes of action. Kennedi Myles and Makiyah Williams both made their Marquette debuts off the bench here after McLaughlin did the same in the starting lineup. McLaughlin finished with 21 points, two rebounds, three assists, and three steals; Myles chipped in 14 points, five rebounds, a block, and a steal in just 16 minutes; and Williams, the only freshman on the roster, gave the Golden Eagles eight points, and three rebounds in 15 minutes. That includes accounting for MU’s lone non-McLaughlin three-pointer of the night.
It also looked like every available Golden Eagle got into the game. Rose Nkumu, Nirel Lougbo, and Claire Kaifes appeared to be in track suits and not dressed to play at all on Tuesday night. What that means for their availability long term, particularly when MU has another game on Friday and yet another on Monday afternoon? Well, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and FloHoops?
Up Next: Marquette will be back in action on Friday night with another 6pm start, which will be even more in conflict with the men’s basketball game starting at 7pm at Fiserv Forum. Wonderful scheduling job all the way around, everyone. Anyway, it’ll be NJIT on the opposite side of the court at the McGuire Center. The Highlanders lost 61-49 at home to Wager on Tuesday night in their opener.