Women’s basketball slow out of the gate, results in first loss of season

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Camryn Taylor was the top scorer for MU during their home opener against UW-Milwaukee (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics).

After a high scoring performance in their season-opening win against North Dakota last week, the Marquette women’s basketball team struggled to score through the first half of Wednesday afternoon’s 64-55 loss against cross-town rival University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  

“Obviously very disappointed with the outcome today, but give Milwaukee a ton of credit,” said head coach Megan Duffy. “They were playing with a lot of confidence coming into the game with two very nice wins. We just have to continue to take a look at what wasn’t good and move forward because we have a quick turnaround heading into BIG EAST play.”  

Similarly to their first game of the season, Marquette started off slow, but this time their shooting struggles would continue throughout the entire first half. The Golden Eagles shot 4-17 in the first quarter and adjustments were not made in the second. Marquette only scored four points in the quarter and went into halftime completing 6 of 29 shots from the field and trailing 30-12. 

“I’m not sure I’ve ever seen us score four points in a quarter, so obviously it was disappointing,” Duffy said. “We’re going to go back to the drawing board and see some different things we can do to get better ball movement. I thought after a slow first quarter we would get our legs back under us and open things up, but we obviously never did until the third and fourth quarter when it was too late.”  

Marquette failed to score in the last seven and a half minutes of the second, while Milwaukee was able to go on an 11-0 run to top off the second half. Marquette’s top scorers, senior guard Selena Lott and sophomore Jordan King, were both held scoreless in the first half.  

After posting a career-high 20 points in the season opener, King finished the afternoon with no points.  

“Jordan will be fine,” Duffy said. “She’s a relentless worker, she’s going to be back probably tonight watching film on her own and looking at ways she can improve.”  

Milwaukee’s redshirt senior guard McKaela Schmelzer came out firing for the Panthers as she posted 11 first half points and went 3-5 shooting from beyond the arc. Schmelzer would finish the afternoon with 15 points along with two assists and two rebounds. 

Schmelzer’s fine shooting performance, mixed with redshirt sophomore forward Megan Walstad’s 14 points and 11 rebounds helped the Panthers remain undefeated (2-0) on the season.  

In the second half the Golden Eagles scored 43 total points, including 23 points from sophomore forward Camryn Taylor, who finished the afternoon with a career-high  of 27 points, along with nine rebounds in just 26 minutes of playing time. 

“She’s really improving in a lot of different ways, so Im really happy for where she’s headed and what she’s doing and we’re going to need that consistency,” said Duffy.  

The sophomore’s presence was especially felt late in the fourth quarter where she was active on both sides of the ball, crashing the boards offensively and defensively.  

“I felt like the energy came from the team after getting those defensive stops,” said Taylor. To me it doesn’t really count right now (when referring to her career-high) because we have to get back in the lab and figure some stuff out by watching some film and getting ready for Friday.  

Marquette redshirt senior Lauren Van Kleunen tallied up 10 points and seven rebounds for the Golden Eagles, after being held scoreless in the first half, Lott finished the afternoon with nine points and six assists.  

Coming back from an 18-point deficit at halftime, MU fought their way back within six points of Milwaukee, but the Panthers did well executing late, taking care of the ball and making their free throws. The Panthers shot 84.2% from the charity stripe throughout the afternoon.  

Marquette (1-1) will now have a quick turnaround and look to bounce back as they host the Providence Friars at the Al McGuire Center Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. CST for the start of BIG EAST Conference play.  

This story was written by Sam Arco. He can be reached at sam.arco@marquette.edu or on Twitter @sam_i_am119.