MU Women’s Basketball: Carthage crushed in exhibition

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The Marquette women’s basketball team defeated Carthage College 64-38 Friday night in its only exhibition game of the season.

Junior forward Sarina Simmons led the way in scoring for the Golden Eagles, picking up 12 points, and wreaked havoc under the basket with five blocked shots.

Sophomore guard Gabi Minix ran the offense well in her first start at point guard, scoring 10 points and dishing out five assists.

The Golden Eagles started two freshman, guard Arlesia Morse and forward Apiew Ojulu, who contributed in a big way. Ojulu showed good touch from the free throw line going six for eight from the strip and picking up a total 10 points and four rebounds. Morse chipped in nine points including two three-pointers and defended the point well throughout the game.

“In practice we’ve been encouraging the freshman to not back down from our competition,” sophomore forward Katherine Plouffe said. “Apiew and Arlesia did a good job coming into the game as freshmen and looking for opportunities to score, so we are looking for that from all of our freshmen.”

Coach Terri Mitchell said that the exhibition was a good chance to figure out where the Golden Eagles were as a team, particularly for the freshmen.

“Six of our nine available players are freshman, so all of them are going to have to play and all of them are going to have to make a difference,” Mitchell said. “With Arlesia and Apiew starting it was all about them getting comfortable out there and finding out where they are good, how to attack and not always depending on Katherine Plouffe and Sarina to get the job done.”

The Golden Eagles started the game on an 18-4 run and never looked back, leading by as many as 33 points 3:47 left in the second half. Marquette was able to impose its will down low due to an overwhelming size advantage over the Lady Reds, outscoring Carthage 32-20 in the paint.

“We hoped that with the size advantage we have this year that we didn’t have last year that we would be more consistent on the boards than other teams,” Simmons said. “I felt like Carthage was really undersized and attacking the boards on the offensive and defensive ends was a big focus for us.”

The Golden Eagles’ defense dictated the pace of the game, forcing 28 turnovers and converting on them with 27 points. Simmons said Mitchell had stressed getting up and under the ball handler and making sure that defensive help was there when trying to force turnovers.

Carthage out-rebounded Marquette in the first period 19-18, and Mitchell said she placed a lot of emphasis on controlling the boards in the halftime break. The Golden Eagles responded collecting 23 rebounds in the second half and winning the battle of the boards 41-36 overall.

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