Women’s basketball falls to Division II team in exhibition

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Women’s basketball falls to Division II team in exhibition

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Shane Hogan

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In the opening exhibition of the 2018-’19 season, Marquette women’s basketball fell to the Division-II Grand Valley State Lakers 77-75.

“I’m glad they gave us a game,” head coach Carolyn Kieger said. “Honestly, we needed that, and that’s what exhibitions are for. They showed us our weaknesses, so hats off to them.”

The No. 19 Golden Eagles got out to a slow start in the first quarter, shooting just 6 of 14. Meanwhile the Lakers broke Marquette’s full-court press with ease, utilizing 6-foot-4 center Cassidy Boensch for six easy points.

Redshirt sophomore Lauren Van Kleunen kept Marquette within striking distance with her five crucial points and post defense in the opening period.

A 7-0 run halfway through the second quarter helped Marquette remain close in the second quarter, but the Lakers entered halftime with a 42-39 lead.

The third quarter was much of the same: GVSU dictated the pace of play while Marquette struggled on both ends of the floor. Marquette’s press finally started to work in the second half, causing some turnovers. Kieger said the change was entirely a matter of effort and “locking in,” not a written-up adjustment.

Despite the team’s sloppy play, Marquette trailed by just four after three quarters of play. Senior point guard Danielle King almost single-handedly brought her team back with seven points in the third quarter alone.

Marquette took a 67-66 lead in the fourth quarter, its first lead of the night, but the Lakers reclaimed the lead 73-69, prompting a timeout from Kieger. Marquette tied the game with just 1:21 left in the matchup, but with just under five seconds remaining, Cassidy Boensch took Van Kleunen right to the bucket and laid it in over her, putting her team up 77-75.

The Golden Eagles had one final look at the basket, but Van Kleunen was unable to hit the contested three at the buzzer.

For Marquette, King led the way with 22 point on 50 percent shooting. She had four assists.

“Dani (King) took over,” Kieger said. “We needed her to (take over), and she stepped up. She rose to the occasion.”

Blockton added 18 points, and Van Kleunen put up 15 points. Natisha Hiedeman contributed a team-high six assists and eight rebounds, but she shot 2 of 11 from the floor and 1 of 3 from beyond the arc.

Boensch led the Lakers with a game-high 28 points. Three other Lakers were in double digits, with Natalie Koenig putting up 15, Jenn DeBoer contributing 12 and Victoria Hedemark adding 10.

The Golden Eagles will have their first regular season matchup against South Dakota State University. Marquette will take on the Jackrabbits on Tuesday at the Al McGuire Center at 11:30 am Central time.

“We clearly needed this test,” Kieger said. “We’ve got some stuff we’ve got to fix, and it needs to be fixed in a hurry. Hopefully Tuesday will be a better performance from us.”