Golden Eagles beat Indiana St., fall to Indiana in WNIT

Photo by Maggie Casey/Marquette Images
Photo by Maggie Casey/Marquette Images

The Marquette women’s basketball team defeated Indiana State in the opening round of the WNIT 63-61 Thursday before falling to Indiana in the next round, 72-69 Saturday.

Marquette opened the game with a slow start, falling behind 18-11 with 12:52 left in the first half. But the Golden Eagles closed out the half 17-10. The second half was a battle between the two teams, with no team gaining more than a five-point lead. Regardless, clutch free throw-shooting by senior Katherine Plouffe and sophomore Brooklyn Pumroy sealed the victory for the Golden Eagles.

Coach Terri Mitchell told she was proud of the way her team bounced back and performed throughout the game.

“I am extremely excited for our team’s effort tonight coming in to a tough place to play and coming out with a victory,” Mitchell said. “We had to knock the rust off, but our rebounding and defense excelled under pressure and we were able to get the ball into the right hands.”

Plouffe notched her 14th double-double of the season against the Sycamores and did so in record fashion. She scored 19 points in the contest and brought down 26 rebounds, setting a WNIT record for rebounds in a game. Mitchell was impressed with the senior’s game.

“I can’t say enough about Katherine’s effort tonight — it was extraordinary, and breaking a 30-year-old rebounding record was impressive,” Mitchell said.

Rounding out the Golden Eagles’ double-digit scorers were senior Katie Young with 11 points, and Pumroy and junior Chelsie Butler who each scored 10. Marquette also excelled in rebounding, bringing down 50, 14 more than the Sycamores.

Two days after the victory, the Golden Eagles traveled to Bloomington, Ind., to take on the Hoosiers. Again, Marquette stumbled out of the gate, failing to score a single point until 15:02 in the first half. The Hoosiers scored 12 before Marquette’s first point, and jumped out to a 25-9 lead at 11:18. The biggest lead the Hoosiers got was a 22-point lead at 8:02 in the first. But Marquette slowly chipped away at the lead.

Marquette managed to drop Indiana’s lead to 15 points at the end of the first half. Marquette and Indiana continued to jostle for points, with Marquette dropping the lead to 12 before the Hoosiers would bring it back up to 18. At the 8:15 mark, the Golden Eagles started to rally. With baskets by Young, Butler and junior Arlesia Morse, the Golden Eagles got within three points. A layup by Young put Marquette within one with 10 seconds left. But after a pair of Indiana players made free throws, Pumroy’s failed buzzer beater ended the Golden Eagles’ season.

Young helped the Golden Eagles start the rally, as she scored 19 points in the game, all in the second half. Butler notched a career-high 16 points and Morse scored 14 in relief of Young. Indiana managed to hold Plouffe to just four points and six rebounds. As a team, the Golden Eagles brought down 33 rebounds, three more than the Hoosiers. But it was Larryn Brooks’s 33 points that catapulted the Hoosiers over the Golden Eagles.

Marquette finished the season 22-11 and went 11-7 in the Big East. The loss also ended the careers of seniors Plouffe, Young and Courtney Thomas. Plouffe was the only senior to reach the 1,000-point club.