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Too Many Turnovers: St. John’s 57, #19 Marquette 56

The Golden Eagles made too many mistakes against the Red Storm, and one specific mistake was the difference.

Marquette’s Kenzie Hare
Kenzie Hare had six of Marquette’s 23 turnovers on top of a 1-for-7 long range shooting day.
Marquette University

You can write the idea in a lot of different ways. The fact of the matter is that on Wednesday night, coming off their first loss of the season, #19 Marquette women’s basketball turned the ball over too many times. If you want to credit the St. John’s defense for creating the turnovers, go right ahead, I won’t stop you. But the fact of the matter is that when you know you are playing a team that is attempting to re-enact the Ice Age by way of their average pace of play, every possession is valuable. You have to protect the basketball and make every possession count.

On Wednesday night, Marquette did not do that 23 times in a 66 possession game, turning the ball over on nearly 35% of their possessions, and as such, they took a 57-56 loss on the road against the Red Storm. It is Marquette’s second straight loss as well as their second loss of the season, which means that not only is this an awful performance within the bounds of the 40 minutes when it was played, but it is an awful performance in the context of “we have to bounce back after our first loss.”

23 turnovers is too many. 21 turnovers in the final 30 minutes of the game after just two in a 14-14 first quarter is too many. However, believe it or not, we can point at one very specific turnover that literally did cost Marquette the game.

6:43 to go in the fourth quarter, Liza Karlen receives a pick and pop pass from Jordan King with scant seconds to go on the shot clock. She drives to the free throw line/lane elbow, rises, fires, and drains it, Marquette up 52-50.

But the referees motion to the scorer’s table that they want to review that play at the quarter media timeout.

They do. Karlen did not get the shot off in time. My review of the FloHoops broadcast shows the same. They wipe the basket away at the break, turning it back to 50-50.

Marquette lost by one point. That one very specific turnover, a lack of awareness of the shot clock by both Jordan King giving the ball up and Karlen getting into her shooting motion too late, that was the difference in the game.

Did Karlen score two straight buckets to put Marquette up 56-52 with 2:50 to go? Sure did. Would it have been better to be up 58-52? Also obviously the case.

“Yes, Andy, but also the other 22 turnovers.” You’re right! Also a problem: A complete failure to come up with a gameplan to stop Unique Drake. When you get torched by a player who is averaging five points a game because they shoot 5-for-6 from behind the arc in a game, oops, things happen. When you get torched for a 64% effective field goal shooting percentage day from the leading scorer on the other team, you didn’t have the right plan to start with. Drake finished the contest with a game high 24 points, and she saved seven of those for the final 4:30. Drake got five of the seven in the final 2:20, answering Karlen’s second bucket after the wipeaway with a three-pointer, and then giving SJU their winning margin with 1:21 to play after a missed three on the other end by Rose Nkumu.

Just to drive the point home: Marquette scored 1.30 points per possession when they weren’t turning the ball over. They were ruining the Red Storm over and over and over.... except MU just did not get enough shots up to make that make a difference in a 66 possession game.

Up Next: Marquette needs a get right game in the worst way after two emotionally deflating losses, and that’s exactly what they have coming their direction. On Saturday, they’ll be back in Milwaukee for their first home game since December 21st, and the first with the regular cast and crew in attendance since December 17th. The opposition at 2pm Central time will be Xavier. The Musketeers are 1-10 on the season and are 0-2 in Big East play after losing 86-45 at Villanova last Saturday.