In their only game of the week, Marquette women’s basketball made an emphatic case to be in the Associated Press top 25 on Monday. Your final from the McGuire Center: Marquette 67, Butler 46. The Golden Eagles are now 9-2 on the year and 2-1 in Big East action.
Butler had the advantage early in this one. Officially, this is a comeback victory for Marquette, as a triple from Tenley Dowell made it 9-6 Butler with 4:54 left in the first quarter. Marquette then scored the next eight points in a row to jump out to a 14-9 lead and they would never trail again.
I know, right, boring recap.
It was only a seven point game heading into the second quarter though, and Sydney Jaynes’ bucket to open up the scoring in that period kept Butler within two possessions of the Golden Eagles. Jordan King scored to make the MU lead 10 for the first time, 25-15, and it was King again on the next trip down the floor who pushed the margin into double digits to stay. A Rose Nkumu three-pointer gave Marquette their largest margin of the first half, 13 points, but it settled at 10, 34-24, at halftime.
Felt like we had something of a game going on there, even while MU was holding Butler to just 0.73 points per possession for the first 20 minutes.
Any confusion about how this was going to go was ended coming out of the locker room. MU scored the first two buckets to prompt a “WHAT DID WE JUST TALK ABOUT” timeout from Butler head coach Austin Parkinson, who was going with a hoodie & fleece vest combo for this one. Those buckets from Liza Karlen and Nia Clark were the first two in a 12-0 run to open up the third quarter for the Golden Eagles, and the lead was 22, 46-24. The closest that the Bulldogs would get the rest of the quarter was 16 points, which made the Butler bench VERY excited for some reason, but it was back to 23 heading into the fourth.
55-32 with 10 minutes to play became 67-37 with 4:59 to go. That’s a 12-5 Marquette burst across 5:01 of game time, and it was Jordan King’s transition bucket that left MU with a 30 point lead. This is particularly notable because head coach Megan Duffy began emptying the bench at that point and MU would not score again. That’s how you end up giving up a 9-0 run to close the game to “only” win by 21. Oh well.
Rose Nkumu scored a bunch of big buckets for Marquette in the early going when things were still very much in doubt, and she finished with just one missed shot all afternoon for a game high 15 points to go with two rebounds, an assist, and three steals. Chloe Marotta (12), Jordan King (10), and Liza Karlen (10) all joined Nkumu in double digit points land, while Karlen added 11 rebounds for a double-double in just 25 minutes. King and Nia Clark tied for the team lead in assists with four, while Nkumu and Marotta both had three steals to top MU’s chart in that column.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and FloSports?
Up Next: Marquette has their final non-conference game of the year later this week before they take a break for Christmas. It’ll be Colorado coming to town for a noon Central Time start on Wednesday, and they did announce that tickets for that one are FREE if you are available. The Buffs are 9-3 right now with a 0-1 record in Pac-12 play after suffering a narrow loss on the road against then-#13 Utah on December 14th.