Women’s basketball holds off for overtime victory, handing DePaul first league loss of season

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Photo by John Leuzzi

Sophomore guard Danyel Middleton (25) celebrates in Marquette women’s basketball’s 88-85 overtime victory over DePaul Jan. 12.

In what was a battle of two Interstate-94 rivals at the Al McGuire Center Wednesday night, with Marquette women’s basketball coming away with an 88-85 victory in overtime.

With a second left on the game clock in the fourth quarter, the Blue Demons had a chance to take the lead from the free-throw line but after only knocking down one of two Marquette was given the chance to win the game.

After a timeout called by head coach Megan Duffy, graduate student forward Lauren Van Kleunen hit what looked to be the winning basket with 0.4 seconds left of play but it was ultimately overturned sending the game into overtime tied at 73-73.

For Van Kleunen, it was a quick regroup to get ready for overtime.

“It was tough for a quick second but coach (Duffy) got me real quick in the huddle and said ‘hey whatever happened with that lets move on,'” Van Kleunen said. “And I was like I have to play with a short memory and move on.”

Graduate student guard Karissa McLaughlin got the scoring going in overtime for the Golden Eagles, sinking fourth 3-pointer of the night to take a 76-73 lead.

McLaughlin and Van Kleunen set the tone in the period with their veteran play, as both would combine for all 15 of Marquette’s points in the frame to edge out the 88-85 win. Additionally, McLaughlin went 8-8 from the free-throw line in overtime.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of this team, coming off the Creighton loss and a very long layoff with COVID,” Duffy said. “The end was intense.

The way we executed down the stretch, the way we sustained the runs, huge games by everybody, but just the way Danny Middleton came out, double-double, and then Karissa (McLaughlin) and Lauren (Van Kleunen) stepped up as seniors to really help us solidify that win.”

The Golden Eagles handed the Blue Demons their first loss of the season in BIG EAST play.

Both teams struggled offensively in the first quarter, with neither being able to gain much momentum as both combined to shoot 8-for-35 from the field in the frame.

With 3:31 left in the first quarter junior guard Jordan King picked up her second foul and wouldn’t see the floor the rest of the half. DePaul snatched a quick 4-0 run near the end of the quarter to take an 11-10 lead into the second quarter.

The second frame was far closer at the start than at the end. At the 8:03 mark of the quarter, Van Kleunen picked up her second foul sending her to the bench joining King for the remainder of the half. Marquette outscored DePaul 21-14 in the quarter to take a 31-25 lead at halftime.

“That was key to have Jordan (King) and Lauren (Van Kleunen) sitting a ton in that first half with the fouls, to just be able to keep it close and that allowed me to not have to put them back in with two fouls because we were still making some great progress,” Duffy said.

The Golden Eagles continued their momentum in the third, as senior forward Chloe Marotta would go on a personal 6-0 run during the team’s 10-2 run forcing DePaul to call a timeout at the 5:57 mark of the quarter. Marotta would finish the night with a season-high 16 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals.

The Blue Demons would then respond with a 12-2 run of their own to come within one of Marquette’s lead forcing Duffy to call a timeout. DePaul then finished the frame on a 7-0 run to take a 53-51 lead into the fourth.

After trailing 62-55 early on in the quarter, Marquette chipped away and retook the lead at 65-63 off a 3-pointer from McLaughlin. However, the lead wouldn’t last long as DePaul responded with a three of their own.

Sophomore guard Danyel Middleton went on a personal 5-0 run in the final 1:09 of regulation to flip a two-point DePaul lead into a three-point Marquette lead.

With the game heading into overtime, after Van Kleunen’s shot was waived off, Duffy said the message in the huddle was to “go back to the game plan.”

“Just went back to the game plan of what we needed to do to stop them on the defensive side, off the ball, kind of lock back into what was working for us. We had a lot of great paint touches, our confidence was obviously really high,” Duffy said.

The confidence Duffy saw from her team carried over as Marquette put away DePaul once and for-all in one overtime period.

McLaughlin, who played all 45 minutes of the game, led the way on the night for Marquette with 24 points, four rebounds and three assists.

Middleton earned her first-career double-double Wednesday night as she finished with career-highs in points and rebounds with 12 and 10 respectively.

“They did not respect my shot and I was going to make people stand on that I could shoot too,” Middleton said. “I’m going to be that spark off the bench. So me being that spark and me helping the team is really all I need.

As a team, Marquette held DePaul to its second-lowest scoring in regulation on the season after entering the night leading the nation in points per game.

Marquette (10-4, 3-2 BIG EAST) will now host Georgetown at the Al McGuire Center Friday at 7 p.m. CST.

This article was written by Ben Schultz. He can be reached at benjamin.a.schultz@marquette.edu or on Twitter @benschultz52.