Basketball doesn’t have to be a complicated sport. The team that puts the ball through the net the most wins the game. There’s a lot of ways to accomplish this, but it all comes back to who can put the most buckets up.
#23 Marquette women’s basketball made that point on Sunday afternoon in their 87-52 win over Penn.
Marquette’s shooting percentages in the game:
Overall from the field: 57.9%
From inside the arc: 60.98%, isn’t rounding fun?
From outside the arc: 50%
At that point, it almost doesn’t matter that the Golden Eagles’ defense limited Penn to 33% shooting in the game and never more than 37% in the first three quarters of the game. There were just too many points going up on the board for the Quakers to be able to do anything about winning this game.
With that said, it was a competitive first quarter with a late 9-0 run by Marquette wiping away a Penn lead and putting the Golden Eagles up 22-14 before the Quakers scored right before the horn. As the second quarter went along, it started to look like it might be a struggle for either team to do anything, as the first three minutes saw just one bucket, a layup from Frannie Hottinger to put MU back up by eight.
At the 6:36 mark of the frame, things changed. That’s when Kenzie Hare drained one of her five three-pointers in the game to trigger an 8-0 run for the Golden Eagles that put them up 32-18. It was a 13 point game at half, 37-24, but MU had nearly doubled Penn up, 15-8, in that quarter.
Marquette did more than double up Penn in the third quarter. In fact, they more than tripled up the Quakers. Penn’s Jordan Obi scored the first bucket of the second half, and then MU scored the next seven. Then an 8-0 run, all by Jordan King, Marquette by 24, and the quarter’s not half over. Then a 7-0 run capped by a triple from Hottinger. Marquette by 30, 3:00 to go in the third. The lead for the quarter peaked on the final bucket as the Golden Eagles had one more run in them, closing the frame on a 7-0 burst and Skylar Forbes made it 69-33 with 10 minutes to play.
In case that wasn’t emphatic enough, the first five points of the fourth quarter went for the Golden Eagles for a 12-0 run overall and a 32-9 run since halftime. Marquette by 41. Penn broke the run with a free throw, Lee Volker scored in the paint, and boom, that’s Marquette’s biggest lead of the game, 76-34.
Did Penn outscore Marquette for the final seven minutes of the game? Yep, but 18-11 isn’t exactly doing any damage to the outcome here.
We’ve got options for Player of the Game here. Frannie Hottinger wins the high scoring title for the day with 20 points on 9-for-14 shooting, and she added eight rebounds, plus one each in the assist and block columns. Kenzie Hare continued to train triples like it’s providing her with life energy, connecting on five of her six attempts for 19 points, plus she added three rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Jordan King had a robust effort across the board, shooting 7-for-10 to get to 17 points along with three rebounds, four assists, a block, and two steals. Skylar Forbes led Marquette in rebounding, pulling in 10 in 26 minutes off the bench. Rose Nkumu gets the assists title for the day, dishing out five helpers to best both King and Forbes by one.
Oh, and by the way? Marquette is now 8-0 on the year, the best start in program history, and Jordan King has 1,500 career points.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and FloHoops?
Up Next: Marquette will be off for a week because of what I presume was McGuire Center scheduling to clear the deck in case volleyball played well enough to host the Sweet 16 this season. That did not happen, but the schedule is what the schedule is, so MU won’t play again until next Sunday and not only that, they’ll be on the road. Tipoff against Illinois State down in Normal, Illinois, is set for 2pm Central, and ESPN+ will have the streaming broadcast. The Redbirds are 6-2 right now after a road loss on Sunday to #5 North Carolina State.