Women’s basketball struggles in return against Creighton

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Photo by Isabel Bonebrake

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

After a 16 day layoff due to the Christmas Holiday Break and a COVID-19 shutdown to the program, the Marquette women’s basketball team was back in action Friday night at Creighton.

The Blue Jays handed the Golden Eagles their second BIG EAST loss of the second, 62-45.

Despite shaking off their rust early on and taking a small lead in the first five minutes, Marquette’s struggles began to pick up. Creighton took a narrow 13-11 lead into the second frame after receiving its final nine points of the first quarter from its bench.

Graduate student forward Lauren Van Kleunen had a slow start as she went 0-for-7 from the field before scoring her first point with under three minutes to go in the first quarter.

The Golden Eagles began the second quarter with a higher defensive intensity, keeping the Blue Jays to just four points in the first six minutes of the quarter.

Marquette continued to set their pace and build a lead off their defense but the tides would change after the under-five media timeout. Coming out of the timeout, Creighton went on a 7-0 run to retake the lead before taking a 27-23 advantage into the locker room for halftime.

While entering the night averaging 13 turnovers per game, Creighton turned over the ball 11 times in the first 20 minutes. Senior guard Payton

Creighton kept their momentum going to start the second half as they pushed their lead to double digits in just the first three minutes of the third quarter. Senior guard Payton Brotzki hit a 3-pointer to set off the run for Creighton, putting Marquette in a 15-point hole.

The Golden Eagles struggled to climb themselves out of the hole, as they went 5-for-14 from the field during the third quarter alone.

The fourth quarter was much the same for Creighton, as the Blue Jays dictated the pace of the final 10 minutes.

Creighton’s defense continued to hand Marquette’s offense troubles as the Blue Jays built their lead to as big as 20 points at the 3:25 mark of the frame. Junior guard Carly Bachelor’s six points in the final quarter alone helped Creighton improve to 5-0 to begin BIG EAST play for the first time since joining the conference in 2013.

Junior guard Jordan King led Marquette with 14 points and five assists. It is the fifth time this season that the Rockton, Illinois, native notched five or more assists in a single game.

Marquette  shot 33.9% in the field while Creighton shot 46.3% from the field.

With the loss, Marquette now trails the all-time series 12-15 and 2-10 when the game is played in Omaha.

Marquette (9-4, 2-2 BIG EAST) will head home for a three-game homestand in a five-day stretch. The Golden Eagles will begin the homestand against the Depaul Blue Demons Jan. 12 at 1 p.m. CST.

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