Karissa McLaughlin played the full 45 minutes on Wednesday night, hitting big shot after big shot for Marquette women’s basketball as the Golden Eagles had to keep fighting all the way through an overtime period to get an 88-85 victory over DePaul. With the win, Marquette is now 10-4 overall on the year and 3-2 in Big East play. The Blue Demons drop to 12-4 on the season and suffer their first loss in Big East play to leave them at 4-1. Probably going to cost them their Associated Press votes next Monday, too.
This one was an evolutionary game, as in it started out looking like one game and by the end of 45 minutes, it looked like an entirely different game. Marquette couldn’t maintain possession in the early going, but that was fine because DePaul couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. The Blue Demons shot just 4-for-15 in the first quarter with all 11 misses coming in the first five minutes, and they led 11-10 over MU after 10 minutes was gone.
Again: The score after 10 minutes was 11-10. 21 total points scored between the two teams.
That changed in the second quarter as the Golden Eagles scored 13 points by themselves by the time the second quarter media stoppage came around. Danyel Middleton was making hustle plays all over the court for MU, and her energy seemed to boost the entire lineup. With 93 seconds left in the frame, Liza Karlen converted in transition, and that put MU up 29-21. DePaul did DePaul things to smash that in half, but Chloe Marotta drained a feed from McLaughlin to make it 31-25 MU at halftime.
21 points just by the Golden Eagles in the second quarter. Remember, evolutionary.
One of the reasons that Marquette had a lead on DePaul at intermission? The Blue Demons were 0-8 from behind the arc. They would shoot 7-for-14 the rest of the way, so keep that in mind as we talk.
Marotta got hot early in the third quarter, and six straight from her made it 43-32 with 5:58 to go. This prompted a timeout from the Blue Demons, and you can see why head coach Doug Bruno wanted to chat about it. Pretty much nothing in this game was going the way that you would have thought that DePaul would want it to go, and given their overall tempo preference, that’s really bad news for them.
The Blue Demons scored the next six points of the game, split evenly on triples from Lexi Held and Kierra Collier, and the lead was just five. That turned into a 12-2 run by the visitors, and Marquette’s seemingly widening by the second lead had dissipated from 11 down to just 1 with 3:32 to go in the third. 2:26 elapsed, 10 points gone. Bad times, but very much how DePaul wants this game to go, which makes it even worse for Marquette.
It looked for a second like Marquette was able to stabilize things, getting the lead back to five, but DePaul wiped that away, and freshman sensation Aneesah Morrow put in two of her team best 21 points to make it 53-51 in the Blue Demons’ favor heading to the fourth quarter. The good times just kept right on going, and a bucket in the paint from Lexi Held with 6:44 to go put DePaul up 62-55.
Yes, Marquette was up 11, now they were down seven. About nine minutes of game action, 30-12 run by the Blue Demons. Remember when both teams combined for 21 points in 10 minutes? Yeah, we’re way past that on the evolutionary scale.
After MU head coach Megan Duffy had seen enough and called for timeout, the Golden Eagles said “hey, we were winning this game, this is crap.” A 7-1 made entirely out of Lauren Van Kleunen points for Marquette cut the margin to just one, and this is when McLaughlin started taking souls. She started by boosting the ball from Held, flew down the court to the left wing, watching for quality cutters the whole way.... and when she never saw one, BANG, McLaughlin snapped in a three-pointer to put the Golden Eagles up 65-63.
DePaul made some plays, and took the lead back. McLaughlin again, MU by 1. Darrione Rogers answers with a huge three, but Middleton — remember her infectious energy from earlier? It boomeranged — hit a three on MU’s end, and then she converted after a Marotta steal to make it 73-70 with 46 seconds to go.
WE’RE NOWHERE CLOSE TO DONE.
A layup from Deja Church got DePaul within one. Morrow blocked Marotta. Middleton blocked Rogers. Out of bounds. DePaul ball. The inbounds finds a cutting Morrow, she misses, it ends up with Held, she gets fouled, which is the absolute last thing you want to do with one second left to go.
Held hit the first, missed the second, MU rebounds and calls timeout. Inbounding from the sideline, Marotta threw the ball into the post for LVK to turn and shoot, but she had it hacked/knocked away from her. Out of bounds, 0.4 to play, MU inbounding.
This is what happened.
Let’s be clear about a few things.
First, at the McGuire Center, the referees control the clock. It’s a sonic system, so the whistles stop the clock, and it restarts when they click a button on a belt pack that all three referees wear.
Second, it’s out of Van Kleunen’s hands when the clock hits zero. There’s no question about this.
This is a screenshot from FloHoops. You can see the ball hovering in the air and 0.2 on the clock on the stanchion and no red lights on the backboard.
The official ruling is, apparently, the clock that the referees control did not start on time and the 0.4 seconds elapsed before LVK got the shot off when you go to a replay review and use a stopwatch to clock the time while watching TV. After the game, Megan Duffy said that they ran the replay 15 times to make sure they had it right.
You want to tell me that four-tenths of a second elapsed before she got it off? Sure, I’ll believe you. But you’re in charge of starting the clock on time. This is on you.
McLaughlin opened up overtime smashing a three. Big shot after big shot, remember?
DePaul answered, first from Sonya Morris, then from Morrow, and they led by 1 with 3:03 to go. Then it was LVK’s turn to get the points she didn’t get at the end of regulation. She hit a baseline jumper to tilt it back in MU’s favor, and then after a stop, she beat Morrow in the post to make it 80-77 with 1:49 to play. After a free throw from Morris, McLaughlin, Ms. Big Shot, drew a foul going to the rim, and she icily drained both to make it a four point game with 74 seconds left.
Morris scored, and then Jordan King turned it over near midcourt. Bad news. King recovered, played defense on Church in transition, and boom, charging call. Live, I thought King just fell down. On a baseline replay, Church definitely initiates the contact when both players are still moving. MU ball. McLaughlin gets it deep in the corner in front of the DePaul bench, and the Blue Demons were sure she lost it out of bounds.
Foul on Kierra Collier.
McLaughlin drains two. DePaul scores, McLaughlin gets fouled, repeat. DePaul misses two shots, Rose Nkumu rebounds in what was her first career start, flips it to McLaughlin, who is fouled, repeat.
Marquette by six, Held calmly tacks on three points to her total on the night at the horn. Marquette wins.
By the end, this turned into a Marquette-DePaul classic, and exactly what you think you might see when these two teams hook it up. It was definitely a weird game, particularly when you realize that the score was 78-74 over the final 35 minutes.
McLaughlin finished with a game high 24 points while shooting 6-for-13 from the field and 4-for-8 from long range and a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe. LVK added 20 on 8-for-11 shooting, while Marotta went for 16 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals. The big show of the night might have been from Middleton, who posted her first career double-double in 29 minutes off the bench: 12 points on 5-for-10 for shooting and 2-for-3 from long range, plus 10 rebounds, two assists, and a block before fouling out.
She was very excited after the game.
"I love our fans. I like getting people going, if it's an off-game I'm going to be the one there to hype up everybody. I live for that."— Marquette WBB (@MarquetteWBB) January 13, 2022
Dany was all smiles after going for the first double-double of her career#muwbb pic.twitter.com/1xV7X5BdlF
I’m guessing at some point she saw that men’s head coach Shaka Smart turned up, just like he said he would on Tuesday night at his postgame presser. Did she know that Juan Toscano-Anderson and the Golden State Warriors were in the building? Hard to say.
Up Next: Marquette is back in action on Friday for the first of two home games this weekend. It’ll be Georgetown (6-4, 1-1 Big East) in the building on Friday night, followed by Villanova (8-5, 2-2 Big East) on Sunday afternoon. Friday’s game will be on FloHoops, but Sunday’s will be a CBS Sports Network broadcast.