Marquette falls to No. 1 UConn to end out regular season

Marquette+falls+to+No.+1+UConn+to+end+out+regular+season

Marquette women’s basketball suffered a setback Monday night as they fell 63-53 to No. 1 UConn at Gampel Pavilion.

It is UConn’s 136th consecutive conference victory under head coach Geno Auriemma.

Both teams struggled out of the gates, resulting in the Huskies leading 13-8 at the under-five media timeout of. the first frame.

Sophomore guard Jordan King hit a 3-pointer in the left corner coming out of the timeout bringing the game within two possession. The Huskies responded with a 7-0 run to send themselves into the second quarter leading 22-11.

UConn out-rebounded MU 13-7 and outscored MU 9-2 on second chance opportunities in the first 10 minutes.

The second frame was closer, with key baskets from redshirt senior forward Lauren Van Kleunen and first-year forward Liza Karlen to open the frame bring the Huskies lead within eight.

Junior forward Olivia Nelson-Ododa had other plans as she spearheaded a 9-4 Huskies run to break the game open to a 13 point lead at the 4:17 mark.

A three-pointer from Van Kleunen and a layup from senior guard Selena Lott put together a quick 5-0 run for MU to bring the game back within single digits.

Despite the end of the quarter push, the Golden Eagles went into halftime trailing the Huskies 37-25.

The Huskies dominated inside the paint and on second chance opportunities in the first half, out-scoring the Golden Eagles 20-8 and 15-2, respectively.

Marquette’s continued offensive attempts came alive in the third quarter, shooting 53% from the field and outscoring UConn 17-14. Redshirt Lauren Van Kleunen hit a three-pointer with 27 seconds left to send the Golden Eagles into the fourth down by nine.

Despite Marquette’s pressure to end the third, UConn’s defense held strong and secured the victory, narrowly outscoring the Golden Eagles 12-11 in the fourth.

As a team, MU held UConn to 41.8% from the field and 18.8% from 3-point range. This was the Huskies third and fourth lowest shooting and 3-point field goal percentages on the season, respectively.

Taylor led MU on the night with 19 points, six rebounds and an assist. The Peoria, Illinois native has scored in double figures in four consecutive games, adding up to the 15th time this season.

Two additional Golden Eagles finished in double figures. Van Kleunen put up 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal, while sophomore guard Jordan King recorded 11 points, four rebounds and three assists. For Van Kleunen, she is now 23 points away from hitting the 1,000 career point mark.

For UConn, Nelson-Ododa led the way with 19 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and six blocks. Two other Huskies finished in double figures as first-year forward Aaliyah Edwards put up 16 points while Bueckers put up 13 points.

As a team, UConn led in every single statistical category. The Huskies out-rebounded the Golden Eagles 43-25 and outscored MU on second chance opportunities 24-7.

It is just the fourth time under head coach Megan Duffy, MU did not out-rebound or tie their opponent.

Next up for Marquette (17-5, 14-4 BIG EAST) is the BIG EAST Tournament at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The Golden Eagles’ quarterfinals matchup will take place March 6 at 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time against the winner of the No. 7 Providence and No. 10 Butler game, which is scheduled for Friday.

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