A hot start in our nation’s capital looked like it was going to lead to a second blowout win of the year against Georgetown, but Marquette women’s basketball didn’t quite get there. The Golden Eagles never trailed and were never even tied once points went on the board, but they walked out of McDonough Arena with a 64-57 win over the Hoyas that was a bit closer than I think they would have liked.
It was 7-0 Golden Eagles after just two minutes had been played, and 50% shooting in the first quarter — including 2-for-4 from long range — helped Marquette fend off the Hoyas cutting that lead to just two before building it back up to eight, 20-12, at the end of the first quarter. Karissa McLaughlin opened up the scoring in the second period to make it a 10 point game for the first time, and just past the eight minute mark, Liza Karlen dropped in a pair of free throws to make it a 26-14 game. Things were rolling along, and McLaughlin was already 2-for-3 from beyond the arc, something that went particularly well for the Golden Eagles when they beat Georgetown by 36 in Milwaukee.
That was, however, Marquette’s high water mark of the game.
The Golden Eagles couldn’t keep the margin north of 10 points, and with 1:39 left in the first half, GU’s Graceann Bennett trimmed the margin to just four, 30-26. It was five at the break, and Marquette couldn’t feel comfortable with letting those five points slip away. It’s not that Georgetown played well in the second, they shot just 41% and missed all three long range attempts. Marquette just left the door open for them with their own woes: 5-for-14 shooting in the second period.
Georgetown started off the scoring in the third quarter to cut it to a one possession game, and now Marquette had to dig in and keep it from getting tied. Lauren Van Kleunen got one to go with 5:40 left in the quarter to make it 42-36, but the Hoyas scored the next five to cut it to a one point game. The two sides traded buckets before a McLaughlin triple gave the Golden Eagles some breathing room, and a Jordan King layup with under a minute to go made it a six point game, 49-43, with 10 minutes left to be played.
A three from Georgetown’s Milan Bolden-Morris cut that margin back down to one possession, but Marquette answered with a bucket from Rose Nkumu, her only shot of the game. Five point MU advantage, and this gave the Golden Eagles breathing room. A jumper from King was backed up by a steal from Antwainette Walker and another layup from King. Eight point game, 7:37 to go. Georgetown wouldn’t get closer than six points the rest of the way, and Marquette would actually get it back to 10 ever so briefly to help guide this thing into the hanger.
Five Golden Eagles scored in double digits here, with Walker joining four of the starters to do it. McLaughlin’s 14 was the tops on the chart for the entire game, but there’s a real argument for Walker as game MVP. 10 points, her third double-digit game in Marquette’s last four contests, along with eight rebounds and two steals. Chloe Marotta made up for being the only starter outside double digits in points by adding eight rebounds, four on each end to go with five assists, a block, and a steal.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and Fox Sports?
Up Next: Would you believe that it’s time for the final push to the end of the regular season? Marquette will play three games in five days this week to wrap up the regular season. First up is a visit to UConn on Wednesday night in a game that was rescheduled from the end of December. Tipoff for that one will be at 6pm Central time before Marquette visits Providence on Friday and comes home to wrap up the regular season on Sunday against St. John’s.