After 10 minutes of action on Wednesday night at the McGuire Center, the visiting Memphis Tigers were up 21-20 on the #23 ranked Marquette after Memphis held MU without a field goal for the final three minutes and scored right at the horn. Loyal reader and WBB regular Jessica noted to me that head coach Megan Duffy was giving her team the business in the huddle in between quarters. That was a fair reaction from Duffy, as her charges weren’t exactly lighting the world on fire with the usual energy and enthusiasm, much less the kind that is needed when you’re carrying around that brand new #23 ranking and opponents are going to come after you just a little bit harder as a result.
The message was very clearly received and visited upon the Tigers.
A 7-0 start to the second quarter for Marquette flipped the lead around and prompted a timeout from Memphis. Over the next 7:33, Marquette kept it going, throwing up another 10-0 run to take a 14 point lead at one point, and then closing the half on a 6-0 run. 23-6 favoring the Golden Eagles in the second quarter, the lowest opponent output in any single quarter so far this season, and Marquette up 43-27 at the break.
What happened in the second half didn’t really matter all that much after that, but the lead hit 20 for the first time on a pair of freebies from Rose Nkumu with a little less than eight to play in the third. Nkumu scored the final bucket of the quarter which ended up being the first one on a 12-0 run that pushed the margin to 29 in the fourth quarter. It was Nkumu again who scored in transition to give Marquette their first 30 point margin of the game with 5:02 to play.
Final: #23 Marquette 88, Memphis 59. Marquette is now 7-0 on the season, setting a new record for best start to a season in program history...... breaking the record set when MU beat Arkansas to win the Fort Myers Tip-Off..... which broke the record of 5-0 that MU tied last season.
Liza Karlen led Marquette in scoring here, going for 21 points and just missing a double-double with nine rebounds. She added four assists and two blocks, plus a vicious looking set of scratches on the right side of her face and neck that she picked up off a follow through after one of her blocks right before the third quarter media timeout.
Four of Marquette’s starters hit double digits, including Kenzie Hare who ran wild from behind the three-point line — again — going 5-for-6 to build up her 17 points. Jordan King added a team high six assists to her 14 points, and she added five rebounds and two blocks, too. Frannie Hottinger was the only starter to not get to double digits, but she also only played 15 minutes but still chipped in a bucket, two rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and FloSports? You can watch Marquette get to go straight down Main Street against the Tigers on repeat.
Up Next: The Golden Eagles will look to extend their winning streak on Sunday afternoon when they’ll be back in action at the McGuire Center. Penn will provide the opposition, with tipoff set to go at 1pm Central time on FloHoops. The Quakers moved to 5-2 on the year on Wednesday night with a 79-71 crosstown rivalry win over La Salle.