McLaughlin’s big day leads Marquette to season opener win over Alcorn State

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Photo by Sarah Kuhns

Marquette women’s basketball defeated Alcorn State 96-35 Nov. 9 at the Al McGuire Center.

Marquette women’s basketball opened up its 47th season in winning style defeating Alcorn State 96-35 Tuesday night at the Al McGuire Center.

“This was a great win by our team, we had so many people contribute tonight,” Marquette women’s basketball head coach Megan Duffy said. “It was great to be back at the Al with our fans, friends and family. It was just a great atmosphere to get the season going.”

Marquette began the first quarter with steam, controlling momentum and control for the first 10 minutes. The Golden Eagles shot 42% in the quarter to head into the second quarter with a 20-8 lead.

Following the rhythm of the first quarter, the Golden Eagles did not stop their momentum as they held the Lady Braves to just 10 points in the second quarter to head into halftime leading 35-18.

First-year forward Makiyah Williams saw her first collegiate minutes in the second quarter. The Illinois native finished with eight points and three rebounds in 15 minutes of action.

“The opportunity for her (Williams) to be on the court, getting some real game minutes was really great,” Duffy said. “Thought she rebounded the ball well, she got to the rim, a couple free throws here and there was good to see too.”

Marquette began the second half as they finished the first half. The Golden Eagles scored 31 points in the third squad to head into the fourth with a 66-29 lead.

Despite their 37 lead heading into the final quarter, the Golden Eagles did not stop working. A 30-6 outscore deficit in the fourth helped Marquette glide to a 96-35 win to open up the young season.

Graduate student guard Karissa McLaughlin led the way for the Golden Eagles on the night with 21 points. The Purdue transfer knocked down a total of three 3-pointers while also adding three assists and three steals on the night.

“Karissa is able to stretch it and she is a great shooter from the outside,” Van Kleunen said. “Shout Out to Coach Duffy for the great recruiting.”

Duffy said McLaughlin’s shooting ability was impressive on the night.

We always tell her, whenever she gets an open look she has the green light to shoot it,” Duffy said.

Van Kleunen, who began her sixth and final season with Marquette, added 17 points, nine rebounds and three assists on the night.

“To think, holy cow-sixth season, it’s awesome. It still felt like it was my first ever game, I still had the jitters,” Van Kluenen said. “The biggest thing is my teammates finding me…as a post player you have to get inside and make quick moves.”

Marquette (1-0) will host New Jersey Institute of Technology Friday night at 6 p.m. CST at the Al McGuire Center.

Van Kleunen said she hopes her teammates and her can continue the momentum heading into their matchup against the Highlanders.

“Still doing our same stuff, doing what has made us successful tonight,” said Van Kleunen. “We will take this season one game at a time…it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”

This article was written by Ava Mares. She can be reached at ava.mares@marquette.edu or on Twitter @avamaresMU.