Butler loss extends losing streak to five games


Photo by Francesca Reed / francesca.reed@marquette.edu

The Marquette women’s basketball team (4-12, 0-5 Big East) lost its fifth straight game Sunday at the Al McGuire Center in a 76-67 battle against Butler (8-9, 4-2).

Senior guard Arlesia Morse led the Golden Eagles with a 20-point performance and grabbed six rebounds, while freshman guard Kenisha Bell contributed 12 points and tied for a team-high seven rebounds, but it wasn’t enough. The Bulldogs overpowered Marquette due to 26 and 23 point performances by redshirt sophomore guard Lauryn Goodwin and senior forward Ijeoma Uchendu, respectively. Uchendu added nine boards and Goodwin dished out five assists to go along with her five rebounds.

The Golden Eagles got out to a 5-0 lead and held the advantage for most of the first 10 minutes of the first half. During that span, Marquette forced four turnovers and converted them into seven points. The Golden Eagles led by six with 11:43 to play in the half, but a 10-2 Butler run during the next 3:37 gave the Bulldogs the 23-21 lead.

The Golden Eagles would regain the lead and held it with less than a minute to go in the half, before Butler’s junior guard Blaire Langlois hit a 3-pointer with 58 seconds to go, giving the Bulldogs a one-point lead. Butler scored once more before the half ended and took a 38-35 advantage into halftime.

Morse only had six of her 20 points in the first half, but Marquette shot 59.3 percent from the field, just edging out Butler’s 58.6 percent in the first 20. Freshman guard Tia Elbert came off the bench to lead Marquette in the first half, scoring eight points on 4-of-4 shooting.

Despite turning the ball over four times in the first 5:30, Butler only gave it away twice after that and turned the tables on the Golden Eagles. As soon as Butler regained composure, they became the enforcers on defense, causing seven Marquette turnovers in the opening half and converting those miscues into 11 points.

The Bulldogs padded their lead to start the second stanza with a 10-4 run during the first five minutes, taking a 48-39 lead. But the Golden Eagles never quit. After an and-one layup by senior forward Apiew Ojulu, Marquette found new energy and fought back with an 18-13 run to cut the Butler lead to four with 5:24 to play.

The Golden Eagles would get no closer and dropped their fifth straight contest.

Despite a relatively good shooting performance in the first half, Marquette shot 12-for-38 (31.6 percent) as a team in the second half, highlighted by an 0-for-11 shooting performance from behind the arc. The Golden Eagles won the rebound battle, 35-30, but still struggled with turnovers, committing 16 to Butler’s 14 miscues in the team’s fifth straight loss.

During the five-game skid, Marquette has scored more than 70 points just twice and has failed to eclipse that number during the last three games. The Golden Eagles have also shot above 50 percent from the field just once and have yet to shoot more than 50 percent in both halves of any given game.

One of coach Carolyn Kieger’s main focuses for the season was to cut back on turnovers, but the Golden Eagles have continued to struggle, committing 20 turnovers or more twice over the cold streak.

Marquette will look to break out of its funk Friday on the road against Seton Hall in South Orange, N.J. at 6 p.m.