Golden Eagles return to the Al McGuire Center, look for first home win in 2020

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Photo by Elena Fiegen

Natisha Hiedeman (5) goes up for a shot in Marquette’s 83-73 win over St. John’s at the Al McGuire Center last season.

Marquette women’s basketball returns home on Friday night, taking on the St. John’s Red Storm after going 1-2 on the team’s three-game road trip.

The Golden Eagles are coming off a huge 60-50 road victory against Providence this past Sunday. MU was led by redshirt junior guard Lauren Van Kleunen, who had a team-high 18 points.

MU’s win came after two tough road losses against DePaul and Creighton to open up BIG EAST play. The Golden Eagles finished their longest road trip of the season 1-2, averaging 20 turnovers per game.

Meanwhile, the Red Storm are coming off a 67-62 overtime loss to Villanova. SJU was a perfect 3-0 in conference play before the defeat.

The Red Storm lost guard Akina Wellere from last season due to graduation. Wellere started in all 31 games and averaged 10.8 points per game, which ranked second on the team.

St. John’s returns the duo of redshirt junior guard Tiana England and junior guard Qadashah Hoppie. Both were All-Met selections last year with England on the First Team and Qadashah on the Third Team. Hoppie led the Red Storm in scoring all season with 11.8 points per game.

After falling to DePaul to open up BIG EAST play, Marquette head coach Megan Duffy suggested that her team was “still looking for (its) identity.”

Getting back in the win column after beating the Friars provides Marquette an opportunity to take advantage of a two-game homestand and potentially improve to 3-2 in the BIG EAST.

Fun Facts

  • The Red Storm are 10-5 on the season but are just 4-3 on the road. 
  • St. John’s was picked to finish second in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches Poll while Marquette was picked to finish ninth. The Red Storm are in a four-way tie for second in conference, and the Golden Eagles are sixth. 
  • Marquette is 4-2 at home.
  • MU is averaging 66.5 points per game.
  • The Red Storm are averaging 75.1 points per game.

A Look Back

  • Marquette leads the all-time series 11-10.
  • The Red Storm was one of five teams to defeat Marquette (27-5) in the regular season last year.
  • Prior to last season’s victory against MU, St. John’s had not beaten the Golden Eagles since Dec. 28, 2017.
  • MU is 6-4 all-time at home against the Red Storm.

Key Players

  • Junior guard Selena Lott has been a force all season for Marquette, leading the team with 14.4 points per game.
  • Van Kleunen has also had success offensively this season for MU, tallying at team-high 67 field goals.
  • Hoppie is averaging a team-high 16.8 points this season. She also leads the Red Storm with 41 3-pointers, which ranks second in the BIG EAST.
  • Freshman guard Leilani Correa has made an immediate impact for St John’s this season, averaging second-best on the team with 13.3 points per game.

Keys to the Game

  • Marquette: Establish the 3-point game. Isabelle Spingola ranks fourth in the BIG EAST with 37 3-pointers made this season. Getting her involved will help the Golden Eagles, as St. John’s has held its opponents to just 29% from beyond the arc this season. 
  • St. John’s: Bring pressure defensively to force Marquette turnovers. The Golden Eagles have struggled all year with turnovers and average 17.9 per game this season.

This story was written by Tyler Peters. He can be reached at tyler.peters@marquette.edu and on Twitter @_tylerpeters_.