Women’s basketball eases past Loyola with 62-point blowout

Marquette scored 29 points on 71.4 percent shooting from the field in the first quarter of today’s matinee against Loyola-Chicago, and that wasn’t even close to the most impressive frame of the game. Up 29-11, Marquette (3-2) returned to the court for the second quarter and executed a 28-1 terror over the next 10 minutes. By halftime, the score read 57-12. By game’s end, Marquette had won a 92-30 blowout with the 62 point margin of victory marking an all-time program record.

“We’re talking about playing forty minutes,” head coach Carolyn Kieger said. “Every possession matters, regardless of the score. We need to play hard and play Marquette basketball, and that was the message today.”

Loyola Chicago (0-5) was held scoreless for nearly the entire second quarter until a late foul by freshman Miriam Smith Traore sent Loyola Chicago’s Ellie Rice to the free throw line for a chance to bust the shutout with 55 seconds remaining in the half. Rice sank one of her two free throws.

After the 28-1 second quarter, the Golden Eagles went for the throat, sealing off their basket for nearly the entire third frame. With just under three minutes left, the Ramblers earned a string of trips to the charity stripe, knocking down five of six free throws for their only points in the quarter.

The middle two quarters represented the bulk of a massive field goal drought for Loyola Chicago, which began when guard Abby O’Connor dropped in a layup with 21 seconds to go in the first quarter, and would not end until Jessica Cerda hit a triple in the opening minute of the final quarter.

“We don’t stop until the buzzer goes,” Kieger said. “Those are your elite level teams — your UCONNs, your South Carolinas, your Notre Dames — they’re able to put the pedal to the metal for 40 minutes, and that’s where you want to go.”

Amani Wilborn lead all player with 19 points while also grabbing nine rebounds and earning two assists and two steals. She shot 7-for-10 from the field, while also hitting five of her seven free throw attempts.

“It was just a real confidence booster,” Wilborn said. “Get back going, get my shot going and doing what I do best.”

Natisha Hiedeman, meanwhile, had a down scoring game with only four points but displayed a confidence as a playmaker notching seven assists. She drove the offense for most of the second quarter, throwing five of the team’s eight assists.

“I feel like when my shot’s not falling, I’m going to look to pass the ball,” Hiedeman said. “There were a lot of open players so the passes were easy, and they were all making shots. That helps.”

The Golden Eagles travel to Green Bay for an in-state rivalry game Saturday, followed by a home matchup against the University of  Wisconsin-Madison on Monday.