Women’s basketball wins second game in 48 hours

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Photo by John Leuzzi

Graduate student guard Karissa McLaughlin shoots a 3-pointer in Marquette women’s basketball’s 68-32 win over Georgetown Jan. 14.

In their second game in three days, the Marquette women’s basketball team welcomed Georgetown into the Al McGuire and sent them packing as the Golden Eagles defeated the Hoyas 68-32.

Marquette’s defense played a key part in the game, forcing Georgetown into 20 total turnovers. There was a stretch of over 15 minutes in the first half where Marquette would give up just six points while scoring 28 points in the same stretch.

“The way we came out in an aggressive mindset, they’re very dangerous when Kelsey Ransom gets going downhill and can get to the free-throw line,” Marquette head coach Megan Duffy said. “Games where they out-rebound opponents and get to the free-throw line, they won those battles, so we really paid close attention to that.”

While winning the rebounding battle 51-33 Marquette found themselves in a position to win the game while also getting to rest some of their players who typically log lengthy minutes.

“Just overall thrilled with our defensive effort tonight,” Duffy said. “The quick turnaround of three games in five days, you got to be mentally engaged, quick scout and be able to execute on the fly.”

In the first quarter Marquette got out to an early 10-4 lead with the help of two triples from graduate student guard Karissa McLaughlin. The Golden Eagles would continue to fire away and closed the quarter on an 11-2 scoring run.

At the 2:31 mark of the quarter, McLaughlin surpassed her 1,500th career point when she hit her then-third 3-pointer of the night. Her 12 points in the opening frame gave Marquette a 21-9 lead heading into the second.

“It’s special,” McLaughlin said. “Especially to do it at home in front of all the Marquette fans. This group is incredibly special, and I know they have my back and I have there’s. It’s a great milestone and I’m very appreciative that they always find me on the perimeter.”

The Golden Eagles started the second quarter cold, missing their first five field goal attempts before McLaughlin made yet another 3-pointer which would ignite a 15-0 scoring run for the Golden Eagles.

At the half Marquette held a 25-point lead, 38-13 and made seven 3-pointers which tied Marquette’s season high for made threes in a game, six of which came from McLaughlin.

The third quarter opened with Georgetown going on a 5-0 run before Marquette would eventually go on another extended 13-0 run of their own to give them a 33-point lead.

Despite the pace of the game slowing down in the final frame, as both teams combined for 18 points, the Golden Eagles were already on cruise control as they pulled away with the 68-32 victory.

McLaughlin led the way on the night for Marquette, finishing with 21 points, all coming from 3-point range, and two assists.

“It was great to see that ball go in the net for her,” Duffy said.

Sophomore guard Rose Nkumu made her second straight start and finished with a career-highs in assists (9) and steals (4). She also added five rebounds and four points on the night.

Outside of her offensive stat line, Duffy said she was impressed with what Nkumu was able to do defensively on the night.

“Thought she was really good open the ball and getting through ball screens,” Duffy said. “That’s a lot of stuff to guard and the physicality through it all.”

“First and foremost other than the offensive stat line it is what she did defensively,” Duffy said. “Thought she was really good on the ball getting through ball screens, that’s a lot of stuff to guard and physicality through all that,” Duffy said.

Marquette (11-4, 4-2 BIG EAST) will host Villanova on Sunday at 1 p.m. CST to conclude a three-game home-stand for the Golden Eagles. The game will be aired on CBSSN.

“They play a style similar to Creighton with all their cuts and movements, five out and they have one of the best players in the league with (Maddy) Siegrist which will be a challenge,” Duffy said. “I’m looking forward to this one.”

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