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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Women knocked out of WNIT by Illini

The basketball season at Marquette has officially ended.

After a devastating loss in the NCAA Tournament by the men’s team over the weekend, the women’s team suffered a tough loss to end its WNIT run Monday.

Marquette (17-16) lost an overtime heartbreaker to Illinois, 74-72, Monday night in the second round of the WNIT.

Junior Tatiyiana McMorris led Marquette with 19 points and freshman Sarina Simmons added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Golden Eagles.

Marquette rallied from an 11-point deficit in the first half to lead by as many as eight points in the second half, but the team was unable to hold on as Illinois climbed back to tie the game with three minutes left.

An Illinois bucket put the Illini up two with 1:33 to go. Senior Angel Robinson came up with a clutch basket with 28 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.

In overtime, Illinois scored the first basket and didn’t look back, never trailing in the overtime period.

The Golden Eagles beat this Illinois team by 10 at Assembly Hall in December, but was not able to duplicate the feat this time. Robinson scored 32 in that game but was held to only 12 points on Monday.

“We allowed her to do whatever she wanted to do,” Illinois coach Jolette Law said after the December game. “You can’t let her get that momentum going.”

To reach the second round, Marquette opened its WNIT play with an 85-56 smackdown of Eastern Illinois Thursday night at the Al McGuire Center.

The scoring was evenly balanced, with five players reaching double digits, but what really stood out in the game was the Golden Eagles’ defense.

“We all know that when our offense is good, it all starts on defense,” Robinson said. “So if we control the defensive side we’ll be fine on offense.”

Marquette forced the Panthers into a whopping 30 turnovers, turning in one of its best defensive efforts all season.

“I believe that’s how you’re going to win in the postseason, with your defense,” coach Terri Mitchell said. “Your defense is going to give you a chance. I liked the way that we got after it and got into people.”

The Golden Eagles were no strangers to forcing turnovers coming into the game. Marquette opponents had averaged 19.6 turnovers per game this season, but this game took it to another level.

Marquette scored 40 points off of the 30 turnovers compared to the Panthers’ 22 points off Marquette turnovers.

“I really felt that our defense created our offense and got our team going,” coach Terri Mitchell said. “I thought we shared the ball extremely well, and we were very aggressive continuing to push the ball.”

Because of the turnovers it forced, Marquette had a lot of success running the court. The Golden Eagles scored 18 points on the fast break, outscoring Eastern Illinois by 10.

The biggest difficulty the Golden Eagles faced was staying focused with such a large lead.

“We started getting sloppy because the lead was so big,” Robinson said. “I kept telling them in our little huddle, ‘I want to smell more blood.’ That kind of motivated us to keep going after it.”

Simmons led Marquette with 14 points, while Robinson contributed 12 points and nine assists against Eastern Illinois.

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