A big first quarter by Lauren Van Kleunen opened the doors to lots of good things all night long at the Al McGuire Center as YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles down Purdue, 77-62, in the second round of the 2022 WNIT on Monday night. The Golden Eagles are now 23-10 on the year and are advancing on to the third round of this 64 team tournament.
Marquette’s first six points of the game? All Lauren Van Kleunen, as the super senior got two free throws, a jumper, and a layup to match the Boilermakers bucket for bucket in the early going. It felt like Marquette wasn’t quite taking advantage of the rare misses for Purdue in the early going, so it wasn’t too much of a surprise that a Brooke Moore three-pointer pulled the visitors even at 14 and an Ava Learn layup put Purdue out in front, 16-14, with 2:50 left in the quarter.
LVK took offense to this and scored the next two buckets for the Golden Eagles and eight of the next 10 points overall for MU as they closed out the quarter on a 10-2 run to lead 24-18 after 10 minutes. After one quarter? Lauren Van Kleunen had FIFTEEN POINTS, putting her on pace, for a moment, for 60 in this one. She didn’t get there, but we’ll credit Purdue for figuring out how to slow her down to only a career high 27.
A perfectly competent basketball game erupted in the second quarter as the two teams went back and forth. Marquette turned it a bit more in their favor with some free throws from LVK and a Karissa McLaughlin three-pointer, playing it what will be her only game against her alma mater, thus pushing the margin up to nine points with 5:33 left in the half.
That nine point margin would become a cap on Marquette for a while. Purdue immediately cut it back down to just four, and a triple by McLaughlin made it five at the half. The Boilermakers scored two straight times out of the locker room to make it a one point game and prompt a “WHAT DID WE JUST TALK ABOUT” time out from MU head coach Megan Duffy. Things flittered around there for a moment, and then Chloe Marotta and Jordan King teamed up for an 8-0 run to put Marquette up — wait for it — nine points, 50-41, with 5:36 left in the third.
Back to five, up to nine. Marquette got it to 10 for the first time on a jumper from Antwainette Walker with 2:12 to go, and they went to the fourth quarter with a 56-48 lead. Clearly not over, but definitely favoring the Golden Eagles.
A three-pointer from Brooke Moore trimmed the margin to just five points with just under eight minutes to play, and things were very much up for grabs. McLaughlin paired two missed threes with a turnover, but Purdue could not respond, not before King cashed a big ol’ three-pointer with 6:11 left. That bucket was the official page turner, as it kicked off a 17-4 Golden Eagles run, mostly with points from King and McLaughlin and capped by a dagger of a triple from McLaughlin to give her 16 points on the night. At that point, it was 77-59 Marquette and there was less than a minute to go.
As I alluded to earlier, this game was stacked up with great Marquette performances:
- A career best 27 points from Lauren Van Kleunen to lead all scorers, paired with 11 rebounds, six assists, and two blocks.
- 17 points, nine rebounds, four assists, three blocks, and a steal from Jordan King.
- Nine rebounds and six assists to go with three points from Chloe Marotta
- 10 rebounds, four rebounds, two assists, a block, and two steals from Antwainette Walker, and I swear to you that those were the two of the more perfectly timed steals that I’ve ever seen live in terms of coming exactly when Marquette needed a stop.
- “Only” 16 points and two rebounds from Karissa McLaughlin.
This game was SO MUCH FUN.
Highlights! Courtesy of FloSports and GoMarquette.com:
Up Next: Thursday night! 7pm Central! McGuire Center! WNIT Round of 16! Marquette hosting Toledo! The Rockets got a 79-59 win over MAC rival Kent State on Monday night to advance themselves into the Round of 16, thanks to a game high 25 points from Quinesha Lockett.