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Marquette Rallies To Beat Creighton

30 minutes of awful basketball was ended with 10 great minutes and a Golden Eagles victory.

Liza Karlen
Liza Karlen led MU in scoring and came up with the game saving block against the Bluejays
Marquette University

Me, for 30 minutes at the McGuire Center: this is awful someone is going to be declared the winner of this game but no one is going to like how they got there are we sure this is legally still basketball

Me, for 10 minutes and at the end of the game: WOO EVERYTHING IS AWESOME THIS WAS REALLY NEAT YAY MARQUETTE WON

Basketball is a game of runs, and that apparently includes my emotions during Marquette women’s basketball’s 50-47 victory over Creighton on Sunday afternoon. With the win, MU is now 17-5 on the year and 10-3 in the Big East. The Bluejays drop to 11-4 in the league, and so for the moment, the Golden Eagles have an edge in the winning percentage column of the standings. That doesn’t move MU into second though, as DePaul’s win over Providence on Sunday shoved the Blue Demons ever so slightly in front of the Golden Eagles, .786 to .769.

I refuse to talk about the first three quarters of this basketball game at length. They were bad and should be treated as such. One of the two teams scored in single digits in each of the first two frames, one each for both MU and Creighton, and so it was only 23-18 in CU’s favor at intermission.

Yes, 41 total points in 20 minutes. It was not fun, and only MU’s 41.7% shooting in the second quarter lifted either side north of 35% for any 10 minute stretch. Blech.

That continued in the third quarter as MU shot 30.8% and Creighton shot 31.3%. Rock fights everywhere. Rose Nkumu scored with 86 seconds left in the third period for the final bucket of the quarter and left Creighton with a six point advantage, 36-30, with 10 minutes go.

Would I have been enjoying this game more if Marquette was the one taking an eight point lead late in the quarter instead of the Bluejays? Distinctly possible, but again: it’s hard to feel good things about a game where one team is averaging a point a minute.

That brings us to the fourth quarter, where Marquette decided to stop fooling around. CU’s Lauren Jensen scored first to make it an eight point game, and then MU took off. Jordan King capped a 6-0 burst with a tough bucket in the lane, and MU extended that run to 10-2 to knot the contest up at 40 points apiece on a spinning second chance layup with 5:26 to play. Fun, huh? Marquette struggled with offensive rebounding through the first three quarters of the game, something they usually excel at but something that Creighton took away from them in Omaha. That glass cleaning really came back in the final 10 minutes, as the Golden Eagles snagged four of their eight OR in the game in the final period.

It seemed like Marquette was getting their business figured out, but Liza Karlen threw up a really weird backwards layup attempt when she caught a pass in transition, it missed. Chloe Marotta plucked a Tatum Rembao pass out of the air, and took it the distance.... but couldn’t score through contact and Karlen’s second chance opportunity was blocked by Morgan Maly. Not all offensive rebounds are good, y’know? Creighton’s Rachael Saunders drained a three after Maly came up with the block, and the Jays went up by five with 3:27 to go.

The bad times, they were looming.

But Marquette buckled up. The two teams traded buckets, then Van Kleunen got one to fall, MU got a stop, and Karlen got to the rim. One point game, two minutes left. MU got another stop, and Jordan King did this:

Only four points on the day for the guard from Rockton, Illinois, but that’s a pretty big spot to get it done. After a timeout with just over a minute to play, Creighton’s Lauren Jensen coughed it up on a bad pass, and Karlen came up with it. Van Kleunen missed to put MU up three, but missed.... and Chloe Marotta came up with the rebound and the foul to stop the clock with just seconds left. MU wasn’t in the bonus yet, so the Jays fouled and fouled to get them there, and eventually Karlen went to the line to put this thing away.

She missed both.

The rebound went out of bounds.

Review confirmed the call: Marquette ball. The Golden Eagles got it to Karissa McLaughlin, who had just one shot attempt all game, but she still canned both freebies to put MU up 50-47 with 6.6 left to go. Creighton called time to advance the ball, and whatever the play was, it turned into a drive into the lane and King smartly immediately fouled because it was a guarantee it wouldn’t be on a three-pointer.

But Creighton wasn’t in the bonus either, so they inbounded from the baseline. The pass went straight to Morgan Maly, who was 2-for-4 on triples in the game.... and this happened:

Officially it goes into the scorebook as a block by Karlen. I’m still not 100% sure that she actually got it, and I was honed in on watching to make sure she wasn’t fouling Maly, but I’d rather believe that she got just enough of it than believe that Morgan Maly missed her shot that badly. Seems mean to think that, y’know?

Karlen is the hero of the day with the game winning block, and she had 20 points (on 9-for-21 shooting, don’t ask questions), along with seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Van Kleunen was the only other double digit scorer for MU, as she went 6-for-15 for 13 points along with seven rebounds and five assists. Marotta was great on the glass with 11 more rebounds in addition to that big one late, and she had seven points and three assists as well.

How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and Fox Sports?

Up Next: As usual, MU is off until Friday. It’ll be a little bit of a hectic weekend for the Golden Eagles as they’ll visit Villanova for a 6pm Central time start on Friday before returning home for a 1:30 pm start on Fox against Connecticut. The Huskies are, of course, unbeaten in Big East play so far this season, just like they have been for every season since they went on sabbatical in the AAC. UConn will be even busier than MU this week with home games against Villanova and DePaul on Wednesday and Friday before they bounce off to Milwaukee.