Van Kleunen records historic night in win over Milwaukee

Graduate+student+forward+Lauren+Van+Kleunen+%2842%29+attempts+to+go+up+for+a+layup+in+Marquette+womens+basketballs+59-51+win+over+University+of+Wisconsin-Milwaukee+Dec.+8.+

Photo by John Leuzzi

Graduate student forward Lauren Van Kleunen (42) attempts to go up for a layup in Marquette women’s basketball’s 59-51 win over University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Dec. 8.

Marquette women’s basketball defeated cross-town rival University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 59-51 at the Klotsche Center Wednesday night.

“They’re (Milwaukee) just such a hard nose team, we always know it’s going to be ugly,” Marquette head coach Megan Duffy said. “We had a tough loss last year against them, so it was really important to just be focused and locked-in. I thought we came out really well and we did just enough in the fourth quarter to hang-on.”

Graduate student forward Lauren Van Kleunen made history on the night, breaking Angel Robinson’s all-time record for career games played as the Mason, Ohio, native suited up in the Blue and Gold for the 135th time Wednesday night.

“I know she’s played a lot of games here because she’s an old lady, we tease about it all the time,” Duffy said.

Van Kleunen said shattering records is just just a small piece that comes with the game.

“It sounds like I’m old, but I prefer the word experienced,” Van Kleunen said. “Definitely happy about that but I’m just going to continue to get better each day and try to be consistent as possible.”

Both teams struggled in the first quarter, with each combining for nine turnovers in the first 10 minutes. Despite this, Marquette shot 50% from the field, while holding the Panthers to 28.6% from the field to take a 13-8 lead into the second frame.

The second quarter turned into the Van Kleunen show as she scored 12 points, shooting for-10 from the field. Van Kleunen’s efforts in the frame helped send Marquette into the locker room with a 29-18 lead at halftime.

Van Kleunen started off the second half where she left it in the first, going on a personal 6-0 run to force the Panthers to call a timeout at the 7:44 mark of the third quarter.

Coming out of the timeout, Marquette kept pace and took a 12 point lead into the final stanza.

Despite a late push in the fourth quarter by Milwaukee, Marquette did not relinquish their lead helping themselves move their winning streak to three games. Senior forward Chloe Marotta scored seven of the Golden Eagles’ 20 fourth quarter points.

In addition to program record setting night, Van Kleunen broke a personal best record as she finished with a career-high 25 points.

“They (teammates) were just giving me looks, Jordan King did a great job in finding me in transition. I understood based on the game plan that we had and the scout that we wanted that I could go inside and make quick moves,” Van Kleunen said.

Marotta recorded her second double-double of the season, finishing with 12 points, 10 rebounds and three assists.

“I just really liked her overall balance,” stated Duffy. “She made a couple really good shots and timely moments, which is what we need.”

Marquette narrowly outscored Milwaukee 26-20 inside the paint on the night.

“The number one key today was to win the paint battle. That meant the rebounding battle, that meant the post touches, obviously we looked to keep inside,” Duffy said. “We were not concerned about outside jumpers and if we were going to get them we were going to get them off ball movements. So just thrilled with some of the executed plays.”

With the win, the Golden Eagles improve to 32-20 all-time against the Panthers. Marquette has now won 27 of the past 30 meetings between the two squads.

Marquette (7-2, 2-0 BIG EAST) will host North Dakota at the Al McGuire Center on Saturday at 4 P.M.

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