Women’s basketball dominates in 95-57 win over Butler

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Taylor Valladay (left), Camryn Taylor (center) and Antwainette Walker (right) cheers on from the bench in Marquette’s 95-56 win over Butler on Jan. 24 2020. (Photo Courtesy of Butler Athletics.)

A high-powered offense and plethora of scoring options fueled the Marquette women’s basketball team to a 95-57 victory over Butler Sunday afternoon.

As a team, the Golden Eagles broke several offensive season records during the Sunday matinee at Hinkle Fieldhouse. MU scored a season-high 95 points, shot 62.3% from the field, had 28 assists on 38 baskets and made nine 3-pointers.

With the win, Marquette earned its third straight BIG EAST victory and held its ground for third place in the BIG EAST standings. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs have now lost four straight conference matchups.

The win marks the sixth road win of the season for Marquette.

Marquette got out to another hot start in the first quarter, jumping out to a 14-4 lead with 4:14 left in the frame. Five different Golden Eagles scored in the quarter as MU led 28-16 after the first 10 minutes of action.

In the second quarter, MU broke the game open with a 18-point lead at the 6:21 mark following sophomore guard Claire Kaifes’s second 3-pointer of the half.

A 15-7 run to end the half, which was topped off by redshirt senior forward Lauren Van Kleunen’s third 3-pointer of the season at the buzzer, gave MU a 51-27 led at halftime.

The Golden Eagles received 17 points from their bench and scored 10 points off of Butler’s 10 turnovers in the half.

Despite narrowly outscoring Marquette and creating several small scoring bursts in the third, Butler still found themselves down by 23 at the end of the quarter.

Marquette relied on its bread and butter under head coach Megan Duffy during the fourth quarter, driving to the basket. The Golden Eagles outscored the Bulldogs 25-10 in the final 10 minutes of action.

Van Kleunen led the way for the Golden Eagles on the afternoon with a season-high 21 points, shooting 10-for-14, while also adding two rebounds, three assists and two steals. It is the ninth time this season that the Mason, Ohio native finished in double figures.

Outside of Van Kleunen, nine other Golden Eagles found their way into the scoring column. Lott, Kaifes and sophomore forward Camryn Taylor all finished in double figures with 17, 12 and 11 respectively. For Kaifes, her 12 points marked a new career-high as she hit a career, team and game-high four 3-pointers on the afternoon.

For Lott, who was named to the All-BIG EAST Preseason Team, it was her 42nd career double-figure contest. In addition, she finished three points shy of becoming the 30th MU player to score 1,000 points.

Additionally, the Golden Eagles received 33 points from their bench compared to the Bulldogs just receiving nine points from their bench.

Jaia Alexander led the way for the Bulldogs on the afternoon with a game-high 22 points, shooting 8-for-16, while also adding five rebounds, two assists and a steal.

MU dominated inside the paint and on the boards, as well as outscoring Butler 38-26 in the paint and outnumbering them 32-20 on the glass. Under Duffy, MU is now 31-9 all-time when outrebounding opponents.

Next up for Marquette (9-2, 6-1 BIG EAST) will be a return to the Al McGuire Center as they host Seton Hall (8-3, 6-2 BIG EAST ) Wednesday. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. Central Standard Time and can be streamed on the BIG EAST Digital Network on the FloSports App.

This article was written by John Leuzzi. He can be reached at john.leuzzi@marquette.edu or on Twitter @JohnLeuzziMU