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WNIT Second Round Preview: Marquette vs Purdue

The Golden Eagles welcome the Boilermakers to the McGuire Center with an eye on a spot in the Round of 16.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 30 Ohio State at Purdue
Creepier mascot: Friar Dom or Purdue Pete?
Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

2022 Women’s National Invitational Tournament

Second Round

Marquette Golden Eagles (22-10, 13-7 Big East) vs Purdue Boilermakers (17-14, 7-11 Big Ten)

Date: Monday, March 22, 2022
Time: 7pm Central
Location: Al McGuire Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Streaming: FloHoops
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWBB
All-Time Series: This will be the first ever meeting between the two programs, believe it or not.

Flash back to Wednesday night, and YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles posted a dominant 93-70 victory over Ball State in the first round of the 2022 WNIT. Marquette got 20 point outings from both Karissa McLaughlin (24 points) and Lauren Van Kleunen (20 points on the nose) as well as a 19 point night from Chloe Marotta. Had the game been a wee bit closer in the final stretch, as MU outscored the Cardinals 49-35 in the second half, we might have gotten a chance to see Marotta finish up with a 20 point, 20 rebound double-double as she ended up exiting the game with 19 points and 17 rebounds.

Purdue got to the second round by way of an 82-60 win on Wednesday night over Southern Illinois. The Boilermakers shot the ball very well in that game, knocking in 57% of their shots from the field and finishing with an effective field goal percentage of 61.2%. They did most of their work inside the arc, though, as Purdue went 28-for-44 on two point buckets. A pair of guards where the two most productive scorers for first year head coach Katie Gearlds. 5’7” senior Brooke Moore was 6-for-7 inside the arc and accounted for four of Purdue’s five made triples to get to a game high 27 points, while 5’9” senior Rokia Doumbia went 6-for-10 from the field as well.

If you just base things on that box score, you’re not going to get a full picture of what Purdue usually likes to do, though. Leading scorer Madison Layden missed the game with a non-COVID related illness, and her 11.6 points lead the team this season. #2 scorer Abbey Ellis is just barely behind Layden at 11.5 per contest, and the Salukis “held” her to nine points on 4-for-7 shooting. I think it’s safe to say that Layden will be more of a game-time decision relative to Monday night’s game, as it’s not an injury but just an illness that kept her out on Wednesday. Her health on Sunday for travel reasons might be a bigger question than anything else.

In terms of how these two teams match up, HerHoopStats.com gives the advantage to the Golden Eagles. 71% chance of victory with the game being played in Milwaukee, which it is, and even if it was a neutral site contest, HHS would still favor MU by 60%. The biggest issue in the game is going to be Marquette’s offense against Purdue’s defense. Raw efficiency-wise, Marquette averages 95.4 points per 100 possession, which is just inside the top 100 in the country. The Boilermakers’ defense? 92.6 per 100 possessions, which is obviously better than MU’s offense....... but it’s also the #216 defense in the country. That’s bad. Well, bad for Purdue, but quite good for the Golden Eagles. If you want it in Her Hoop Stats’ full picture numbers? It’s MU’s #88 offense against Purdue’s #154 defense. Still advantage Marquette.

Megan Duffy’s emphasis on rebounding is likely to pay off for Marquette in this game. Purdue is a crummy rebounding team, ranking just #233 in offensive rebounding rate and #149 in defensive rebounding rate. Marquette is top 30 in the country in both departments according to Her Hoop Stats. MU will likely have to content with 6’4” junior forward Rickie Woltman along the way, but other than her, the questionable Madison Layden (6’1”) is the only other rotation regular north of six feet in height.

We can’t ignore the Purdue ties on this Marquette roster heading into this game. First year assistant coach Kelly Komara played for Purdue, winning a national championship in 1999 and starting on a squad that made the Final Four in 2001. Super senior grad transfer Karissa McLaughlin broke the Boilermakers’ program record for three-pointers in a career before electing to take her COVID bonus season of eligibility in Milwaukee this year. You can read this article from the Lafayette Journal & Courier to get insight from both of them as to what it means to face off against their alma maters in a game at the McGuire Center.

The winner of this game will advance to the third round of the WNIT. The opponent there will either be Toledo or Kent State, as the two MAC foes face off at 6pm Central on Monday night.