Marquette women’s basketball made sure that they didn’t have to worry too hard about securing head coach Megan Duffy’s 100th career victory on Sunday.
Karissa McLaughlin poured in 17 of her game high 20 points as the Golden Eagles led by as many as 16 in the first quarter on their way to a 78-48 victory over Butler. Duffy is now 100-40 in her fifth season as a head coach after two years at Miami (OH), and this gives her the best winning percentage after 100 wins amongst all active head coaches in the Big East.
Yes, that includes UConn’s Geno Auriemma, who was 67-45 after four seasons with the Huskies and 92-51 at the end of his fifth year.
As for the Butler game, well, I kind of already summed up everything there is to know about that one. McLaughlin went white hot out of the gate, hitting her first five shots of the game to personally lead Butler 13-4 with 3:25 to play in the first quarter and put Marquette up 20-4. The lead was 26-13 at the end of the first, and Marquette just kept on going from there. MU answered a second quarter opener from Butler’s Celena Taborn by ripping off six straight of their own to boost the lead to 17. It would go as high as 18 in the period before settling at 14 at halftime.
Marquette scored the first four points of the second half as the Bulldogs kept themselves relatively even with the Golden Eagles after that opening fireball salvo. Finally, a 6-0 burst by the Golden Eagles propped up by a McLaughlin three-pointer (of course) in the middle got the lead to 20 for the first time at 53-33 with 3:52 left in the third. That 6-0 stretch turned into 12-2 by the end of the quarter, and the Golden Eagles were just rolling along up 24, 59-35, with 30 minutes gone, and then they tacked on four more to start the fourth quarter for a 16-2 blast.
To their credit, Butler did their damnedest to stop the lead from getting to 30. I get that it’s faint praise, but they were putting in buckets to stop it for most of the fourth quarter. I say most of because y’all read the opening to this. The Golden Eagles closed the game with four points in the final 20 seconds, a pair of free throws from Julianna Okosun and a steal and layup right before the horn from freshman Makiyah Williams wrapped the thing up with exactly a 30 point margin.
McLaughlin led everyone on both teams with 20 points, getting there on 7-for-11 shooting and a 5-for-7 outing from behind the arc. The highlights of her first quarter are absurd as it looks like Butler just completely refused to even attempt a scouting report on the Golden Eagles. Let’s be fair: McLaughlin is the only serious three-point threat on the roster, and the fact that she was shooting WIDE OPEN THREES in the first quarter is almost mean. Not late, when you could argue that Marquette was running sets to counter the defenses that Butler was throwing at them. Nope, MU found McLaughlin, the best three-point shooter in Purdue history, wide open over and over in the first 10 minutes of the game.
Liza Karlen had a second straight great game, getting 19 points and seven rebounds, but it was Chloe Marotta who ended up with the team lead on the glass with eight. Marquette had 24 assists on 32 made baskets with Jordan King’s six leading five different players with at least three.
Up Next: It’s a pair of games against the New York City area teams, but it’s in the weirdest way possible. Marquette will be back in action on Wednesday night when they host Seton Hall for Pride Night at the McGuire Center with tipoff set for 7pm Central. After that, MU will jet out to New York to face St. John’s on Sunday afternoon. The Pirates are 8-8 on the year and 3-5 in the Big East after losing at UConn on Friday, while the Johnnies are 5-12 overall and 1-6 in the league while riding an eight game losing streak at the moment.