Okay, so before we do anything else, we have to get around to recapping Marquette women’s basketball’s loss on Wednesday night to St. John’s. We didn’t get to a recap that night because hey look men’s game against Providence. Thursday got all chewed up for reasons, and so here we are on Friday, finally finishing up watching the game (thanks FloHoops archives) and talking about it before moving on to Seton Hall.
Given that we’re coming at this from long range and we don’t really need to make the deep dive to what happened, let’s keep it simple: Marquette’s offense was broken yet once again as the game started, shooting just 40% in the first quarter and trailing by seven as the first 10 minute ended after starting the game with the 2-0 lead. The lead elevated to nine almost right away in the second quarter, but a timeout from head coach Megan Duffy got the team on track and they immediately ran off a 6-0 run to put some tension into the proceedings.
St. John’s was up four at the half, and it would be advantage Johnnies in the third quarter. Their lead grew to as many as 11 late in the period on a three-pointer from Jayla Everett, but MU did cut it back to just six heading to the final quarter thanks to a 5-0 burst by Jordan King in the final 130 seconds. Another King three-pointer would be the middle part of a 7-0 Marquette run early in the fourth frame to cut the lead to just two, and then another triple from MU’s lead guard followed by a layup from Chloe Marotta put Marquette out in front, 52-51, with 5:04 to play.
Trailing by 11 late in the third, leading by one midway through the fourth. It was very impressive, let’s not discount that.
And then Marquette gave up an 8-0 run spanning over four minutes.
59-52 St. John’s with one minute to play. Yay. That’s your ball game. Yes, there was 16 points scored in the final minute combined between both teams. No, none of it mattered for Marquette. It might have if Kenzie Hare wasn’t sent in completely cold to shoot a three with 35 seconds to go after not playing at all up to that point, but with the Johnnies guarding King tightly, MU didn’t have another option. Hare missed everything so it was still a seven point SJU lead, fouls made it nine, St. John’s fouled King shooting a three, etc., etc., silliness transpired. The 8-0 run after taking a lead for the first time since the opening minutes ended the game, not the final minute tomfoolery, or maybe letting the lead grow to 11 in the third did.
Whatever, the end result is Marquette falls to 11-7 on the year and 4-5 in Big East play. And this all seemed to be going so well. Marquette shot the ball horribly in the game, partially because Jordan King and Chloe Marotta were effectively the only two players to score at all, going for 27 and 24 points each. No one else made a real dent on the scoreboard, and with Liza Karlen out with an injury and Julianna Okosun apparently disappearing off the face of the planet recently, the roster’s getting reaaaaaally thin out there. People need to step up, and that didn’t happen. Marquette did rebound the ball incredibly well on both ends, but that wasn’t enough to get the W.
Stat Watch: Jordan King is 12 points away from tying and 13 from passing Selena Lott for 24th place on Marquette’s all-time scoring list. She’s 22 points away from tying Kerri Reaves and 23 away from Courtney Romeiser as well, so there’s a chance that she could rise as high as 22nd all time after this game.
Stat Watch #2: Chloe Marotta is three rebounds away from tying and four from passing Allazia Blockton for the 10th most in Marquette history. Marotta is at 767 right now, and Lauren Van Kleunen is in 9th place at 802 rebounds. That one will have to wait for next game at the very least.
Stat Watch #3: Jordan King has moved into eighth place on the all-time Marquette assists list. She needs nine more to tie and 10 to pass Danielle King in seventh place. Natisha Hiedeman is next, but she’s 29 assists away right now.
Big East Game #10: vs Seton Hall Pirates (13-6, 6-3 Big East)
Date: Sunday, January 22, 2023
Time: 2pm Central
Location: Al McGuire Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Television: FS1, with Sloane Martin and Kim Adams calling the action
Streaming: FoxSports.com/live or the Fox Sports app
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWBB
Marquette is 17-11 all time against Seton Hall. After the Pirates won in South Orange earlier this season, Seton Hall has now won four of the last five meetings.
Last time out against the Pirates, Marquette suffered an 82-78 loss to Seton Hall back when the Golden Eagles were riding high off of their 2-1 performance in the Battle 4 Atlantis and they were ranked #24 in the country. It’s kind of been all downhill since then, so that’s not ideal. MU’s big problem in that game was their defense late, giving up 26 points to the Pirates but particularly by letting SHU turn a 67-64 game to 73-64 in a span of two minutes and effectively ending the game. The Golden Eagles have had to win with defense over and over this year, and that just did not happen when they desperately needed stops against Seton Hall. MU’s offense evaporating for the middle 20 minutes of the game didn’t help either as Marquette scored 50 of their 78 points in the first and fourth quarters and shot 18-for-37 (49%) in those 20 minutes..... but that means just 28 points on 9-for-32 (28%) shooting in the middle 20 minutes. I don’t think it’s a large leap to think that Marquette would have won the game if they had gotten a consistent 40 minute performance.
But they didn’t, and Marquette has gone 4-5 since then with a 3-4 record in Big East play. Over on the other side of the court, Seton Hall moved to 6-3 on the year and 2-0 in the Big East with that win and have gone 7-3 since. Their only losses were being on the business end of a season sweep by Connecticut and a 22 point smashing on the road against Creighton. The loss to the Bluejays is somewhat relevant to our interests here, as that was two games ago for the Pirates..... and their most recent game was a 45 point home loss to UConn. SHU “only” lost by 25 on the road to the Huskies earlier in the year, and UConn had just seven women available for this one, and that includes getting just 10 minutes of action for Ines Bettencourt in a game where UConn was up 35 heading to the fourth quarter.
The point here is that Seton Hall is coming off of two games of getting absolutely sandblasted off the court, and now they’re going to face a desperate Marquette team while the Pirates themselves really need a win themselves just to shake off the horrible losses.
On one hand, it’s not surprising that Lauren Park-Lane had a big outing last time against Marquette. On the other hand, it’s not great that Marquette let her go for 31 points and seven assists considering that she’s the all-Big East player on the squad. On the third hand, LPL did have to get a lot of her points from the free throw line because she didn’t shoot the ball well (just 9-for-22) and she did rack up a lot of her points late to help drive the Pirates to the win. MU also gave up 23 points and five rebounds to Sidney Cooks in that one, which is also not good because that means Seton Hall’s two best players dropped a combined 54/7/7 on the Golden Eagles. Generally speaking, the “let them get theirs, we’ll stop everyone else” defense only works when you let one player run wild. Two had big outings for SHU, and surprise, MU lost.
For all of Marquette’s problems, they don’t have a bad loss yet. Losing at Seton Hall earlier this season is, according to the NET, their worst loss of the year with the Pirates coming in at #55. Losing at home to Seton Hall still wouldn’t be a bad loss.... but also it wouldn’t be good for whatever remains of MU’s NCAA tournament hopes with 11 regular season games to go. If they can take advantage of a favorable home court advantage and hammer this one together, three of the next four are eminently winnable games and the fourth — visiting Villanova — is another game just like this one where MU can push things back in their favor.
But all of that starts with this one on Sunday afternoon.