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Marquette Women’s Basketball Wanders Past Southern

I don’t want to say “beat” and they didn’t “run away” with this one either.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Big East Conference Tournament-Marquette vs Providence
Liza Karlen led the way for Marquette on Monday afternoon.
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, after two games that were scheduled directly in conflict with the men’s basketball team, I got a chance to watch Marquette women’s basketball in person on Monday afternoon. I was very excited about the opportunity.

Apparently the message about my excitement level did not get through to the team. Or to Southern now that I think about it.

The Golden Eagles won easily, 65-40, so that’s the good news. At least I didn’t have to sweat this one out. The bad news is that I had to watch the two teams combine for 45 turnovers. Yes, more than one a minute overall. It was not a played game at all in the slightest.

How did Marquette win, and win handily? Well, through one very specific methodology: They made Southern’s shooting percentage match their turnover rate. No kidding here: Southern shot 17-for-63 from the field and just 2-for-15 from long range. That combines out to a 28.6% effective field goal percentage. The Golden Eagles induced 20 turnovers in the game by the final horn, and with 70 possessions in the contest, that means the Jaguars coughed it up on 28.6% of possessions.

I don’t have anything resembling the evidence on this, but I suspect that if you can make the turnover rate equal or greater than the eFG%, you’re going to win a lot of ball games.

This was a game at the half, by the way. It was 21-15 at the end of the first quarter, and keep your eye on that 15 point number for Southern. The two teams tied 10 each in the second quarter — this is where the wheels on the Fun Basketball Game car fell off — and so Marquette was up just 31-25 at intermission. Marquette was overcoming massive turnover problems themselves in the first half as well as major shooting woes by rebounding the absolute hell out of the ball. The Golden Eagles had 11 offensive rebounds in the first half, and they added on another nine after the break — this actually helped the overall rate — to end up hauling in a whopping total of 65% of their missed shots in the game.

Marquette started pushing away in this one in the third quarter. They scored the first six points of the frame, and since it took Marquette four whole minutes to do that, the defense involved there was extremely helpful as well. By the end of the quarter, MU had outscored the Jaguars by eight points and it would have been more if a Karissa McLaughlin shot at the horn had gotten off in time.

Antwainette Walker went nova to start the fourth, scoring six of Marquette’s first eight points and getting the Golden Eagles to a 20 point lead for the first time in the game. Southern was trading buckets for a second with Marquette at the start of the quarter, but MU held the Jaguars without a point for over four minutes in the middle of the quarter, and when they finally scored again, a layup from Raven White with 2:32 to play, Marquette was still up 21, and that would be SU’s final points of the game.

Liza Karlen was MU’s top scorer of the game, getting 12 points on 6-for-11 shooting, and she added four rebounds and three assists as well. McLaughlin (10) and Chloe Marotta (10) also had double digits in the points department while Marotta made it a double-double on her 10 rebounds. Kennedi Myles had her beat on the caroms though, rounding up 11 missed shots in the game for a game high total. Jordan King was distributing extremely well, racking up eight assists for a full third of MU’s 24 helpers on just 28 made shots.

Up Next: That’s going to do it for home games for the month of November. MU will be back in action on Friday when they head out to the Rocky Mountains to take on Colorado in the Golden Eagles’ first road game of the year. The Buffaloes are 2-0 so far this season with a pair of road wins. First it was Oklahoma State, 55-45, and then Air Force on Sunday afternoon, 58-53.