Women’s Basketball Splits Weekend, Ends 10-Game Skid

Photo+by+Valeria+Cardenas%2Fvaleria.cardenas%40marquette.edu

Photo by Valeria Cardenas/valeria.cardenas@marquette.edu

Following Friday night’s 75-59 loss to the Villanova Wildcats, women’s basketball coach Carolyn Kieger said she was seeing progress from her team despite a 10-game losing streak.

“Better, definitely better,” Kieger said of her team’s play. “Overall I’m pleased, we’re getting better. Slowly but surely we’re getting better.”

On Sunday afternoon, Marquette won its first Big East game of the season and avoided tying the program record for consecutive losses set in 1986. MU (5-17, 1-10) defeated the Georgetown Hoyas in a hard-fought battle, 80-73, thanks in part to an incredible 17-for-17 performance from the free throw line and 30 points from senior guard Arlesia Morse.

Morse said making all of her free throws is expected because of how much practice time she puts into free throw shooting.

“We shoot a hundred free throws a week. I would like to make all of them,” Morse said. “I’m just happy we won. We went a long stretch where we’ve been in close games and we’ve dropped them or we just stopped playing hard and today it shows all week we worked for it… we listened to the game plan, we came out with a win.”

Though Marquette did not win both games, the team showed it is capable of stopping its opponents strengths, and in the process found a strength.

On Friday, MU played Villanova, a team that thrives on ball security with the Big East’s fewest turnovers per game (8.9) and the conference’s best assist to-turnover ratio (1.7). The Golden Eagles, on the other hand, entered the game last in the league in both categories. However, Marquette had more assists than Villanova by game’s end and had a single-digit turnover total (8) for the first time in Big East play this season.

On Sunday, Marquette again took its foe’s strong suit and made it their own. Georgetown averages more offensive rebounds than any other team in the Big East, but the Golden Eagles held them to just three in the first half and nine on the game. MU out-rebounded Georgetown 40-31 and it proved to be a deciding factor in the victory.

Marquette also learned that perhaps its best asset is free throw shooting. The Golden Eagles made more free throws than field goals on Sunday for the second time in three games and has the second best free throw shooter in the country in Morse (.928). MU is number two in the conference in free throw shooting (.705) and has attempted the most in the league.

The Golden Eagles will look to have their first winning streak since December when the team takes on Xavier in Cincinnati on Friday at 6 p.m.