On Wednesday night, while Shaka Smart’s team was engaged with Georgetown, Megan Duffy’s team was down in Chicago at Wintrust Arena. The final there? DePaul 77, Marquette 66.
With the Blue Demons coming in after gathering a few votes in the AP poll on Monday, it’s reasonable to ask exactly how Marquette landed just 11 points short. After all, this is a game that went to overtime in Milwaukee earlier this season.
There’s one of two ways that you can answer this question, and just so we’re clear: I haven’t watched a single frame of this game thanks to being at Fiserv Forum for the game against Georgetown. But here’s how I see it:
OPTION #1: Marquette let DePaul build too big of a lead.
The question for this option is exactly which lead was the one that was too big. 5-0 out of the gate? 16-7 before the midway point of the first quarter? 28-17 at the end of the first 10 minutes thanks to a layup at the horn by DePaul’s Aneesah Morrow? 46-28, the largest margin of the first half? 67-42, the largest margin of the third quarter and of the game overall? That one came with 1:18 left in the period, and while you can make arguments for a lot of the other ones, a 25 point lead with 11:18 to play is probably something you’re not coming back from.
OPTION #2: Marquette ran out of time.
The Golden Eagles went into the fourth quarter trailing 69-45 after Deja Church scored for the Blue Demons right before the third period ended. MU scored the first six points of the fourth frame to make it an 18 point game. Had they been able to maintain something resembling that scoring pace — all of that in the first 66 seconds — maybe they had a shot. But they started going too long between buckets. Kennedi Myles scored MU’s next points with just 7:17 to go, and Antwainette Walker scored on the next trip down the court.... to cut the margin to 18 again. It took over 90 seconds to score again, a jumper by Jordan King this time.... and that cut the lead to 18 again. 4:59 to go.
Liza Karlen converted on the next trip down the court..... and then Marquette wouldn’t score again until there were just 79 seconds left. That one was a Karissa McLaughlin three-pointer, her only make on seven attempts in the game, and it made it a 13 point game.
Whatever happened after this doesn’t matter, as Marquette let DePaul run out the clock. I respect it. But the fact remains that MU did cut it to 11 in the closing seconds, trimming 13 points off DePaul’s lead at the start of the quarter and 14 points off the maximum lead over the final 11 minutes and change. Did DePaul take their foot off the gas and try to let their questionable defense hold the fort? Yeah, sure, but Marquette still converted the buckets.
They just let too much time wander off between the buckets.
But maybe that doesn’t matter because they fell behind by so many points in the first half to start with.
DePaul got a pair of 20 point performances from Deja Church (23) and Aneesah Morrow (21) to result in Marquette’s defeat. Morrow’s scoring wasn’t really Marquette’s biggest problem in the game as the freshman collected 17 rebounds in the game, eight of which came on the offensive glass. That’s essentially half of their 17 offensive rebounds as a team, and considering that MU cleans the glass at an elite level on both ends this season, getting worked by one player in particular is a notable problem.
Jordan King’s 16 points — including a 2-for-3 outing from behind the arc — led the way for Marquette in this game. She also added six rebounds, five assists, and a block, but she was also the source of five of MU’s 14 turnovers in the contest. Liza Karlen (12) and Antwainette Walker (12) also got into double digit town in the points column. Walker just barely missed a double-double with nine rebounds before fouling out in 24 minutes.
How about some highlights, such as they are, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and FloSports?
Up Next: Marquette returns to action on Friday night when they visit Georgetown. It’ll be a 6pm Central time start, and it’ll be on FS2.