Marquette women’s basketball kicked off its season against Butler with a lot of questions Saturday night, the big ones revolving around who would emerge as Marquette’s go-to scorer.
If the 73-62 win was any indication, the answer could be everybody.
While sophomore guard Arlesia Morse led the way with 16 points, coach Terri Mitchell said the team will be looking to play unselfish basketball this season, getting all of her players involved.
“If you look at our 22 assists to 26 made baskets, I think that pretty much in a nutshell defines our team this year,” Mitchell said. “We’re very unselfish, and we want to get it done together. We don’t have any superstars. We’re rotating a lot of bodies because we want to run even though we look tired. We just want to push the effort and see what we can do.”
The Golden Eagles got a big lift from their bench with nonstarters scoring 24 points and knocking down four of the team’s eight 3-pointers.
Junior guard Katie Young had two of those 3-pointers, and they came in opportune moments to stretch Marquette’s lead.
Young said her production reflected Mitchell’s new attitude toward offensive strategy this season that’s based on the confidence of each individual.
“Confidence starts in practice, and I practice my 3-point shot to become more confident,” Young said. “Terri’s very emphatic on us knocking down the shot that’s best for the team, so when you’re open and confident, shoot it. I like her a lot because she has no restrictions on our offensive game. If we think we can do it, we can go for it.”
Junior guard Gabi Minix looked good running the point with 10 assists, but it was the support of her understudy, freshman Brooklyn Pumroy, that made another big difference.
“I think it’s a great combination to have both Gabi and Brooklyn out there,” Mitchell said. “Brook is obviously learning as a freshman about everything it takes and tenacity. Gabi’s just an unbelievable defender. She’s a great assist maker.”
We can handle (as a team). We had Katie out there handling and Arlesia out there handling. We don’t want to be one-dimensional like we were with just Gabi last year. We need other people to take responsibility at the point.”
Good situational awareness is a trait that Mitchell expects from everyone on her roster this season. On a team with admittedly no definite lead scorer, she said the emphasis will be on each player’s decisions with the basketball.
“We’ve talked about process,” Mitchell said. “Not results but process. If this is a good shot for your team, you take it.”
And that changes from game to game, so Marquette won’t be taking its success from beyond the arch to heart.
“We had eight 3-pointers, but I wouldn’t say we’re going to go into the next game and think we have to have eight to 10 3-pointers,” Mitchell said. “We want to look inside and put the pressure on and kick it out to shooters who have their feet under them. Again, it goes back to unselfishness.”