Marquette Wire

BASELINE: Duffy earns first postseason win at helm of MU

Lauren+Van+Kleunen+%2842%29+attempts+a+shot+in+Marquette%27s+72-59+win+over+Villanova+Saturday+night.+

Photo by Zach Bukowski

Lauren Van Kleunen (42) attempts a shot in Marquette's 72-59 win over Villanova Saturday night.

CHICAGO — After upsetting DePaul at the Al McGuire Center on Senior Day to end the regular season, Marquette women’s basketball traveled to Wintrust Arena and topped Villanova 72-59 in the BIG EAST Tournament Quarterfinals.

Despite poor shooting in the third quarter, the Golden Eagles never lost possession of the lead. Here’s a quick breakdown of head coach Megan Duffy’s first postseason win as head coach for Marquette:

Game MVP

It was Lauren Van Kleunen’s veteran presence that made the difference for MU. She neared a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds in 25 minutes.

“She was great for us, just settling us down, and I trust her so much on the floor,” Duffy said. “She’s a tremendous player and she’s getting her opportunity to do some things for us, but she’s been a huge mentor for Camryn Taylor and that entire post group.”

Both Van Kleunen’s point and rebound totals were her BIG EAST Tournament career bests. Prior to this game, the 6-foot-2 redshirt junior’s best point total was 11 against St. John’s March 10, 2019, and her previous best rebound total was six against Georgetown in the league semifinals March 11, 2019.

Not only did the Mason, Ohio, native shoot 5-for-11 from the field, Van Kleunen also recorded three assists and drained a 3-pointer — her first all season — with 5:26 remaining that put MU up 41-29.

“She’s actually a really good shooter,” Duffy said. “With our offense, she probably doesn’t get as many or any opportunities to shoot the three as much as she’s probably capable. … Maybe we’ll set up a play for her tomorrow to hit another three.”

Notes

  • The Golden Eagles came out hot and had an early 10-2 lead.
  • Villanova had no points in the paint in the first quarter.
  • In the middle of the second quarter, Marquette went on a 9-0 run and held the Wildcats to 3-for-12 shooting in the second frame overall.
  • Villanova shot 1-for-9 from beyond the arc in the first half.
  • Prior to half, both teams offenses were struggling. MU ended the half on a 5:55 scoring drought, while VU was on its own 3:54 scoring drought.
  • Villanova outscored Marquette 23-14 in the third quarter and held the Golden Eagles to shooting 5-for-14 from the field.
  • MU ended the third on a 4:35 scoring drought.
  • The fourth quarter was all Marquette, shooting 62% from the field.
  • BIG EAST Freshman of the Year Maddy Siegrist scored 21 points before fouling out with 26 seconds left.
  • This will be Marquette’s fourth straight semifinal appearance.

Quote of the Day

When talking about what it was like to see Duffy go from being a player in the conference to the 2020 BIG EAST Coach of the Year, Villanova’s Harry Perretta told Duffy that she’s done a great job getting her players to compete at a high level.

“I just think she’s showed a lot of maturity,” Perretta said. “Told me she’s getting married. I waited a little long. I waited till I was 42, so she’s at least doing it when she’s 35.”

Up Next

Marquette (23-7, 13-5 BIG EAST) faces the winner of No. 3 St. John’s and No. 6 Creighton in the semifinals March 8 at Wintrust Arena. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Central Standard Time.

This article was written by Zoe Comerford. She can be reached at isabel.comerford@marquette.edu or on Twitter @zoe_comerford.

About the Contributor
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Zoe Comerford, Executive Sports Editor

Zoe Comerford is the Executive Sports Editor for the Marquette Wire. She is a junior from Naperville, Illinois, majoring in journalism and Spanish and...

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