Women’s basketball opens its season with a win in front of thousands of kids from Milwaukee Public Schools

Junior+forward+Liza+Karlen+looks+to+make+a+pass+in+Marquette+womens+basketballs+75-47+win+over+Fairleigh+Dickinson+Nov.+7+at+Al+McGuire+Center.+

Photo by Isabel Bonebrake

Junior forward Liza Karlen looks to make a pass in Marquette women’s basketball’s 75-47 win over Fairleigh Dickinson Nov. 7 at Al McGuire Center.

In front of 3,061 fans, a large majority of which consisted of elementary students from Milwaukee Public Schools, the Marquette women’s basketball team started its 2022-23 campaign against the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights.

“For this to be our home opener and that’s the crowd we have, I mean it’s amazing,” senior guard Jordan King said. “Just to be able to bring in the community of Milwaukee and really integrate Marquette Athletics with our community, it’s obviously a special feeling.”

The Golden Eagles opened up its 30th season with a 75-46 victory, extending its streak to four straight season openers victories under head coach Megan Duffy.

“Great to start the college basketball season with a win today,” Duffy said. “Overall, just love that the youth were having fun today and obviously we were as well, winning the game.”

Junior forward Liza Karlen opened the first quarter and game scoring Marquette’s first six points. The Golden Eagles got out to an 8-2 lead before the Knights took a 13-12 lead on a 3-pointer from junior guard Abby Conklin, which forced a timeout from Duffy.

The Golden Eagles trailed 16-17 at the end first quarter.

“We got out of the gates really well and then just took our foot off the gas and gave them a couple easy threes,” Duffy said.

Marquette took back the lead early in the second quarter, opening with a 14-0 run including eight points from Karlen. The Golden Eagles finished the quarter outscoring the Knights 23-9 to take a 39-26 lead into halftime.

At the half, Karlen had 16 points, six rebounds and two blocks.

“She had that size advantage down and just finding her was kind of easy,” King said.

Similarly to the second quarter, the Golden Eagles started the second half on an extended run holding a 49-26 lead going into the under-five media timeout. King was responsible for seven points in the run.

“Taking what that defense was giving and then when you get more people involved, that’s when it opens things up for me,” King said.

The Golden Eagles scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter to give them a 63-38 lead and force a Fairleigh Dickinson timeout. Following the timeout, Marquette outscored FDU 12-9 to win the game 75-47.

King finished the game with a career-high 24 points and tied a career-high in steals with six while also adding eight assists and three rebounds.

“She was balanced, she got a couple steals that led to some easy buckets,” Duffy said. “Took kind of what the defense gave her. She’s much improved shooting the three.”

As a team, Marquette shot 47.5% from the field and 23.5% from 3-point range. Fairleigh Dickinson shot 32.1% from the field and 38.8% from 3-point range.

Karlen finished the game with 18 points, 12 rebounds, two steals and tied her career-high four blocks. Senior forward Chloe Marotta was the third player to be in double-digits scoring, finishing with 15 points and five rebounds.

First-year guard Aizhanique Mayo was inactive for Monday’s game and Duffy will update on Friday.

Marquette (1-0) will take the floor Friday for a matchup with Holy Cross at 7 p.m at the Al McGuire Center.

“Our team is excited to play games and they understand you get a short amount of time now in between games or practice,” Duffy said.

This story was written by Ben Schultz. He can be reached at b[email protected] or on Twitter @benschultz52.