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#7 UConn Smokes Marquette

The Golden Eagles couldn’t hang on to the ball early and that gave the Huskies the opening they needed.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Marquette at Connecticut David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Connecticut: Good at this whole basketball thing.

On Wednesday night, the #7 ranked Huskies absolutely waffled Marquette, handing them a 69-38 loss up at the XL Center in Hartford. The loss drops Megan Duffy’s squad to 18-9 on the year and 11-7 in the Big East.

Here’s some context for the loss:

Just so we’re clear on the level of devastation imposed by Connecticut here: The Big East alone plays 110 games in the conference season. Rough math of 110 times 6 conferences, and one of just 17 times out of 600-ish games. Blech.

Marquette’s problems were two-fold in this game, well, maybe three-fold. The big one was MU’s turnover problem. The Golden Eagles committed four turnovers in the first 5:30 of the game.... and were standing tied with the Huskies 6-6 after the last one.... and in fact took an 8-6 lead moments later. This qualifies as an opportunity wasted, as UConn was up seven, 15-8 at the end of the first quarter.

Eight more turnovers followed for the Golden Eagles in the second quarter, which ended with UConn up 17. Five more in the third, UConn by 26. Five more in the fourth, UConn by 31. You see the problem, and when I say that Marquette coughed it up on 36% of their possessions in the game, I’m merely measuring the problem that you can see with the naked eye.

Marquette’s other big problem in the game? They couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. See, UConn turned it over on 27% of their possessions in this game. That’s really bad, not nearly as bad as Marquette, but if you’re both kicking the ball all over the gym, then in theory, you should have a shot to win somehow. “Having a shot” is the key word here. Marquette didn’t shoot 40% in a quarter until they went 6-for-15 in the final period to get to exactly 40%, while UConn’s worst shooting quarter was the first, when they hit 46% of their shots.

If you’d like it in effective field goal percentage terms? Marquette 35.7%, UConn 56.6%. That nearly 57% number is the third major issue for MU. The Huskies didn’t even shoot the three-ball all that well, connecting on just 35% on the night, and they were at just 3-for-12 (25%!) heading into the fourth quarter with a 26 point lead. They just took shots they could make and made them over and over again. Marquette missed, nearly constantly, nearly up and down the lineup. Lauren Van Kleunen’s 5-for-10 night is the only thing even resembling a bright spot for the Golden Eagles.

As you’d expect, LVK led the team in scoring with 12 points, and she was the only one in double digits. Chloe Marotta’s seven was tops in the rebounding column and she led the squad in assists with three as well.

How about some highlights, such as they are, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and SNY?

Up Next: It’s time to wrap up the regular season. Marquette will (I presume) be staying out east for the moment as their next game is on Friday night about 90 miles away. That will, of course, be Providence, and tipoff is set for 6pm Central. After that, MU will return home for a Sunday afternoon matinee against St. John’s. Senior Day will tip off at 2pm Central.