A 9-0 start for Marquette on Saturday evening at Mohegan Sun Arena told us a lot about how the rest of the game was going to go. The #2 seeded Golden Eagles never led by fewer than six the rest of the way and never fewer than 15 in the second half as they rolled past the #7 seeded Providence Friars in the 2021 Big East tournament quarterfinals. MU moves on to Sunday’s semifinal round, which will be the fifth straight year that the Golden Eagles have advanced that far in the conference tournament.
As you can kind of guess from that opening paragraph, there’s not much to say about how this game went. After PC broke up that 9-0 opening run — with 3:08 left in the first, by the way — Lauren Van Kleunen stepped out and hit a three to put Marquette up double digits for the first time in the game. It was only nine at the start of the second quarter, though, and shortly into the period, and and-1 by Sophia Widmeyer pulled Providence within six at 15-9. This was the high water mark of the game for the Friars. Marquette answered with six straight to make it a 12 point game, Widmeyer hit a three, and MU threw up another 12 in a row. Boom, 21 point lead, although another three from Widmeyer made it just 18 at intermission.
If the game wasn’t busted open at that point, the last four minutes of the third quarter got the point across. After Marquette went up 20, 39-19, on a bucket by LVK, Providence popped off seven of the next nine points to cut the lead to 15. This prompted a timeout from Marquette, and the Golden Eagles ended the quarter on a 7-2 burst that bridged into a 17-2 run into the fourth quarter. Ta-da, Marquette was up 30 with 6:33 to go.
It was a big margin of victory for Marquette, but a lot of people got involved in the scoring. Van Kleunen’s 17 led the way in the victory and pulled her within six points of 1,000 in her career. The only other Golden Eagle in double digits was Camryn Taylor, who made the most of her foul plagued 16 minutes to contribute 12 points, five rebounds, and two assists. Selena Lott was kept away from scoring for the most part, going just 3-for-7 from the field, but she made up for it by added six rebounds, nine assists, and a steal. If I recall correctly, she had six of those assists before she even scored a point. Liza Karlen had a nice Big East tournament debut, scoring seven points and pulling in nine rebounds. Six of those seven points came in the first quarter when Megan Duffy had sent both LVK and Taylor to the bench with one early foul each.
How about some highlights, courtesy of FS2 and GoMarquette.com?
Up Next: It’s tournament play, so it’s a quick turnaround. #6 seed Creighton knocked off #3 Seton Hall in the final quarterfinal game of the day on Saturday, so it’ll be the Bluejays and the Golden Eagles in some bird-on-bird violence in the semifinals on Sunday. Tipoff will be at 5pm Central time, and the broadcast will be on FS1. Connecticut and Villanova will be the matchup in the other semifinal game, which starts at 2pm Central.