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Preview: Marquette resumes BIG EAST play on road at Seton Hall

Photo by Isabel Bonebrake
Marquette women’s basketball in its 89-65 win over North Dakota Dec. 11.

After two non-conference matchups, Marquette women’s basketball returns to BIG EAST play against Seton Hall at Walsh Gymnasium Sunday afternoon.

Marquette looks to push its winning streak to five after a dominating 89-65 win over North Dakota last Saturday at the Al McGuire Center.

Graduate student forward Van Kleunen finished with 20 points, shooting 10-for-11 from the field, along with five rebounds, three assists and a block. It was the eighth time in her career she finished with 20 or more points in a game.

Additionally, the Golden Eagles earned 26 points across six players off the bench in the win. Sophomore guard Danyel Middleton set a career-high 14 points.

“I’m just really happy to see some of our younger players get the time today,” head coach Megan Duffy said after the win. “You don’t always see the work they put in for extra conditioning, extra lifts and those individual, one-on-one sessions with their coaches (that) are so critical to their development.”

The Pirates are coming off a 68-56 loss to the University of Central Florida on Tuesday. Despite rallying from a 17-point deficit in the third quarter, Seton Hall would lose momentum in the fourth as UCF outscored the Pirates 21-12 in the frame.

Graduate student guard Andra Espinoza-Hunter scored a team-high 15 points, shooting 6-for-13 from the field and 3-for8 from beyond the 3-point line, while adding four assists and two steals.

It was the first time this season that Seton Hall lost a game despite shooting 40% or better from the floor.

Marquette aims to remain unbeaten in conference play while Seton Hall searches for their first win of the season in BIG EAST play after losses to then No. 2 UConn and St. John’s.

The Pirates are led by junior guard Lauren Park-Lane who is averaging 18.4 points, 6.5 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game.

Fun Facts

  • The Golden Eagles are 41-1 under head coach Megan Duffy when leading at halftime and 29-2 when they turn the ball over fewer times than their opponent.
  • Marquette leads the BIG EAST in point differential, defeating teams by an average of 15.5 points per game.
  • In Marquette’s win over North Dakota, the team recorded 33 assists on 40 made baskets which tied the all-time program record for assists in a single game.
  • Seton Hall is first in the BIG EAST in free-throw shooting percentage at 78.9%.
  • Pirate junior guard Lauren Park-Lane passed the 700-point mark of her NCAA career on Tuesday night.
  • Marquette concluded the non-conference schedule with a 6-2 record.

A Look Back

  • The Golden Eagles lead the all-time series with a record 16-9.
  • Marquette has not won at Seton Hall since Feb. 17, 2019 when former standout guard Natisha Hiedeman scored 34 points in the 109-63 win.
  • Marquette is looking to start 3-0 in the BIG EAST for the third time in the past four seasons and for the second year in a row under head coach Megan Duffy.
  • In 2020-21, the teams met just once, due to COVID-19 issues, resulting in a 77-66 win for the Pirates.
  • Marquette is 5-7 all time in South Orange while Duffy is 1-2 all-time against Pirates head coach Tony Bozzella.

Key Players

  • Van Kleunen brings a great presence under the basket and in the pain for the Golden Eagles. The Mason, Ohio, native is averaging 14.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists per contest this season.
  • Senior forward Chloe Marotta continues to have a strong start to the season for Marquette. The Mequon, Wisconsin, native ranks seventh in the BIG EAST in rebounds per game and recorded a career-high eight assists last time out.
  • Espinoza-Hunter, is pouring in 17.3 points per game, which ranks fifth in the BIG EAST, on 37% shooting from the field. She ranks second in the conference averaging 2.9 3-pointers per game.
  • Park-Lane, a 2020-21 ALL-BIG EAST First Team honoree, is leading the Pirates in points, and assists, averaging 18.4 points and 6.6 assists. The Wilmington, Delaware, natives averages ranked third and first in the BIG EAST respectively.

Key to the Game

  • Marquette: Win through rebounding. The Golden Eagles rank No. 7 in the country in rebound margin, out-rebounding their opponents by a combined 439-302 (43.9-30.2) this season. Marquette has won the board battle in nine of its 10 games this year.
  • Marquette: Defend the 3-point line. Seton Hall is shooting 32.9% from beyond the arc this year and have four players shooting 30% or better from beyond the arc with at least 36 attempts on the season.
  • Seton Hall: Clean it up defensively inside the 3-point line. Through nine games, the Pirates are allowing teams to shooting 45% from the field and are giving up 73.2 points per game.
  • Seton Hall: Need to distribute the ball. 68% of the the Pirates scoring as come from Park-Lane, Espinoza-Hunter and redshirt senior forward Sidney Cooks. Additionally, Seton Hall is averaging 13.2 assists per contest and turning the ball over 13.9 times per game.

How to Follow

  • Watch: Fox Sports 1
  • Live Updates on Twitter: @kellyreillyyy and @MUWireSports

This article was written by Jackson Gross. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @JacksonGrossMU. 

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