Marquette Wire

Marquette falls in season opener on last second shot

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

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Marquette’s season opener did not exactly go according to plan, losing to the University of New Mexico, 88-87, in the final seconds.

The Golden Eagles had a hot start from long range, jumping out to a 9-0 lead after two threes from Danielle King and a third from Natisha Heideman. Marquette led, 29-23, after the first quarter in this high scoring affair. Despite a poor defensive start, New Mexico refused to quit in this one, making quick defensive adjustments.

Unable to stop the dynamic Marquette offense with man-to-man coverage, the Lobos resorted to a 2-3  zone early in the first quarter. The Golden Eagles offense slowed down a bit, scoring 17 points in the second and third quarters.

The sharpshooting from redshirt freshman Lauren Van Kleunen helped keep Marquette in this closely contested game. Van Kleunen led Marquette with 23 points on 8-for-15 shooting from the field, and 5-of-10 from beyond the arc.

 

Marquette had no answer for New Mexico center Jaisa Nunn. The 6-foot-3 junior scored 39 points on 14-for-15 shooting from the field and 11-for-12 from the charity stripe while also collecting a game-high 13 rebounds.

Fittingly, Nunn stole the win from the Golden Eagles in the end.

With Marquette leading 87-85, New Mexico had one last possession to salvage the game. Off a miss from New Mexico senior guard Cherise Beynon, Nunn grabbed the offensive board, finished through contact, and converted the and-one with just 1.8 seconds remaining.

Nunn made her free throw to give the Lobos an 88-87 lead. Marquette head coach Carolyn Kieger called a quick timeout to advance the inbound past half-court.

Junior guard Allazia Blockton, who put up 20 points on the night, had a decent catch-and-shoot opportunity from the top of the key but was unable to convert for the win.

The Golden Eagles look to avenge their loss Nov. 19 against Loyola Maryland at the Al McGuire Center. Loyola Maryland won its season opener Friday against Cornell, 78-63.

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