No Liza Karlen and just 13 minutes of Chloe Marotta due to foul trouble? No problem for Marquette women’s basketball on Saturday afternoon at the McGuire Center, because they still had Jordan King. The senior from Rockton, Illinois, put up a new career best 31 points on 12-for-23 shooting to propel the Golden Eagles to the 80-57 victory over Providence and help MU even their Big East record out at four wins and four losses on the year.
Marquette’s offense did not have rhythm or flow to start the game. It took them til the 7:47 mark before the Golden Eagles got on the board at all, but thankfully the defense held til that point so it was a 2-0 game. MU shot just 27% in the opening 10 minutes, but they did hold an 11-6 lead at that point. It felt like it was going to have to be a rockfight to get the win in this one, but MU opened up the second quarter with an 8-2 burst to take a 19-8 lead thanks to a layup from King. MU’s offense just kept on rolling from there, firing in 26 points in total in the second period, and it would have been more if the Golden Eagles didn’t go 1-for-6 from long range. Providence’s offense got in gear in the second as well, but a Rose Nkumu layup right before intermission staked Marquette to a 37-24 lead at the break.
11-6 doesn’t sound like an overwhelming score, but that’s how the first three-plus minutes of the third quarter went in favor of Providence, and with the Friars within eight, MU head coach Megan Duffy called a timeout. Makiyah Williams scored out of the break, kicking off a 15-5 run to close the quarter and ultimately help the Golden Eagles extend their lead to 18, 58-40, with 10 minutes to go.
All Marquette had to do for the rest of the way was trade buckets with Providence, and they did a little bit better than that. MU came out ahead 22-17 in the final quarter, including cresting the lead to its largest mark with just 27 seconds left in the game.
With Chloe Marotta picking up two fouls in the first six minutes of the game and her third less than 90 seconds into the second half, she was held to just 13 minutes of action in total in the game. Marquette was without the services of Liza Karlen due to her mouth injury — although she was on the bench and appeared to be wearing her uniform shorts — and when freshman Emily La Chapell picked up her third foul at the 8:05 mark of the third quarter, things were a little bit shaky for Marquette when it came to reliable scoring threats.
Jordan King’s pretty good though. With Marquette forced to lean on her in a big way, she held up her end and then some. She connected on 12 of her 23 attempts in the game, and thanks to a pair of makes from downtown, that means that she finished the game with an effective field goal percentage of 57% all by herself as the team ended up at 55% on the day. King also added five rebounds and two steals, and thanks to her five assists, she is now ranked #8 all time in MU history, as she passed Baylor head coach Nicki Collen with her third helper of the day. That just happened to be the Williams jumper that started off MU’s third quarter run, so that’s a nice little bit of coincidence.
La Chapell established a new career high in points, getting 13 on 5-for-8 shooting in 24 minutes, and she added three rebounds and four assists. Rose Nkumu had a quietly important game, chipping in seven points, four rebounds, a team high six assists, two steals, and even a block for the 5’7” Iowa native. Claire Kaifes came darn close to a double-double, wrapping up the contest with eight points and a game high eight rebounds, plus an assist and two steals.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and FloHoops?
Up Next: It’s not going to be a picnic, but it’s going to be a big one if Marquette wants to get back on track for an NCAA tournament bid. On Wednesday, MU will be out in New York City for a clash with St. John’s. The Red Storm are 14-3 on the season and 5-3 in Big East action, but that means they have lost three of their last four games, including blowing a 16 point lead with just over five minutes to play against #25 Villanova on Saturday. SJU had two chances to win and a third to tie in the final 30 seconds, but came up short each time, including turnovers on the last two.