With regular starter Liza Karlen sidelined once again and Marquette women’s basketball coming into Sunday afternoon with a 4-5 record in Big East play, it was kind of reasonable to think that Marquette was in a bit of trouble just a shade into the second quarter. Star guard Jordan King picked up her first foul of the game with 33 seconds left in the first quarter, subbed out at the quarter break, subbed back in when Chloe Marotta picked up her first foul just 51 seconds into the second quarter, and then subbed riiiiiiiiight back out at the 8:19 mark when she snagged her second foul of the game.
The good news is that Marquette was up 20-17 at that point, counting the two Lauren Park-Lane free throws that ensued from King’s foul. Not as nice as when MU was up 6-0 out of the gate or up seven points at two different spots in the first quarter, but y’know, a lead’s a lead, it’s all good.
Your final from Milwaukee: Marquette 80, Seton Hall 61, and it wasn’t that close.
So what happened?
Chloe Marotta hit a three-pointer with exactly seven minutes to play in the second quarter that started off an 18-0 Marquette run. 24-19 Marquette right before Marotta’s three-ball, 42-19 after Kenzie Hare scored in transition with 2:11 to play. Nine Seton Hall turnovers in between points by the Pirates, and because of how things go, 11 turnovers between field goals by the visitors. Marquette did all of this with Jordan King on the bench.
Marquette led by 23 at the half, 45-22. MU head coach Megan Duffy let them get as close as 16 early in the third before calling a timeout. The closest SHU came in the third quarter was 15 points. Marquette led by 18 to start the fourth after Hare drained three freebies because the Pirates fouled her throwing up a desperation triple at the horn. The closest that the Pirates came in the final 10 minutes was 17 points, and that was with 8:40 to play.
The reason why it didn’t get completely out of control? Seton Hall just stopped turning the ball over. More accurately, the second quarter was their only bad quarter as far as the turnovers went. Sure, five in the first quarter wasn’t good, but they had 11 in the second and just seven total after halftime. When you’re actually getting shots up, you tend to be a better basketball team.
But Marquette’s defense put the clamps on the scoring, too. MU’s offense wasn’t white hot, although Hare went 5-for-10 from long range as the team shot 9-for-19. Overall, the Golden Eagles shot under 44% in the game and under 43% in both the third and fourth quarter. They needed to get stops, and they did, especially in the fourth when they held Seton Hall to just 5-for-20 from the field and a very not good 1-for-6 from long range.
Hare’s long range shooting pushed her to a career high and game high 23 points, and she added three rebounds and two assists in her 24 minutes off the bench. With King held to just 20 total minutes and only six points, Marquette was going to need a monster performance from Chloe Marotta, and they got it. 19 points on 7-for-13 shooting, including connecting on her only long range attempt of the game, 12 rebounds with three of them coming for second chances, five assists, two blocks, and four steals.
Rose Nkumu added a game high seven assists, outpassing the entire Pirates roster by one all by herself. MU also got a very good 19 minutes off the bench from Makiyah Williams, who added nine points and six rebounds.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and Fox Sports, since this game was nationally televised on FS1?
Up Next: Marquette will try to stack Big East wins for the first time this season when Xavier comes to town on Wednesday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 7pm for Pride Night at the McGuire Center, and FloSports will have the streaming broadcast. The Musketeers are 7-12 on the year but 0-10 in Big East play after losing 76-38 to Villanova last Tuesday in their most recent game.