Marquette displays depth of roster in victory over St. Francis

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Marquette women’s basketball defeated Saint Francis 83-40 Nov. 27 earning its sixth win of the season. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

After suffering its first loss of the season last Monday to UCLA, the Marquette women’s basketball team is back in the win column as the Golden Eagles defeated Saint Francis 83-40 in the Al McGuire Center Sunday afternoon. 

“(I’m) really excited to be back in the Al playing a home game after a great trip in the Bahamas,” Marquette head coach Megan Duffy said. “It was good to get back on the court, and (I’m) happy with our overall fight.” 

Senior guard Jordan King started the game for the Golden Eagles with a deep 3-pointer.

Marquette’s offense continued to find itself as it jumped out to an 10-5 lead in the first quarter. A block and jumper from senior forward Chloe Marotta forced St. Francis to call a timeout four minutes into the quarter.  

Coming out of the timeout, the Red Flash scored four unanswered points behind baskets from junior guard Filippa Goula and first-year guard Semaya Turner.  

Marquette’s defense stepped up after that as it didn’t allow St. Francis to score a basket in the last 3:35 of the quarter. The Golden Eagles ended the quarter on an 8-0 run with first-year guard Emily La Chapell accounting for three of those points. 

In the first quarter, Marquette was 3-for-6 from beyond the arc, with two of those 3-pointers coming from King.  

“Coach’s message the whole week was we can blow their stuff up a little bit by denying really hard, getting in the passing lanes, anticipating where the ball is going and being (on the) help side,” junior forward Liza Karlen said. 

Karlen began the second quarter with a basket in the post, extending Marquette’s run from the previous to 10-0. The Red Flash would respond with a layup from first-year guard Destini Ward ending the Golden Eagles run. 

Marquette then went on a 21-0 run with points from seven different players. Sophomore forward Makiyah Williams led the run with six points and had a career-high three blocks. First-year forward Charia Smith also earned her first collegiate points in the run.  

“We made adjustments defensively,” Karlen said. “We were a little bit ‘lax’ in the first quarter of jumping to the ball, getting in the passing lanes. We got a lot of easy buckets in transition (and) we were more aggressive getting to the rim.” 

The Golden Eagles went into halftime leading 43-15 with 18 of those points coming from the bench. Marquette shot 41.9% from the field and had a total of 8 steals in the half.  

Karlen scored the first four points of the second half with free throws and a steal leading to a layup. She went on to score six more points in the third quarter. She finished with 18 points, five rebounds, two blocks and two steals.  

“My teammates just did an incredible job getting me the ball,” Karlen said. “Honestly, they saw me more wide-open than I thought I was open. I have to give props to all my teammates (there).” 

The Golden Eagles shot 50% from the field in the third quarter. In addition, they scored six fastbreak points and had four steals.  

Marotta went on a 5-0 personal run to begin the final quarter of this game. She finished with 12 points and came one shy of a double-double, grabbing nine rebounds. 

First-year guard Mackenzie Hare earned her first points of the game with a three-pointer in the corner. She went on to hit three more three-pointers to finish with 12 points, going 4-for-10 from the field. She also dished out three assists and grabbed a rebound. 

With junior forward Julianna Okosun’s layup in the fourth quarter, every player on the roster had scored.

“Sometimes Liza, Jordan (and) Chloe are getting a little bit more of the recognition, but there (are) incredible amounts of effort given by every player on our team,” Duffy said. “We are going to continue to see positive things as a group.” 

Marquette finished with 37 bench points in addition to 23 assists. Meanwhile on the defensive end, the Golden Eagles forced 22 turnovers while only committing 11 themselves.

“We had a goal after we came back from the Bahamas of getting our assist-to-turnover ratio numbers better,” Duffy said. “Our goal was 2:1 and we were right there close to it. (We were) just trying to limit silly turnovers, got a little bit better today.” 

Marquette (6-1) will go on the road to face its first Big East opponent, Georgetown (4-2), in Washington D.C Friday at 10 a.m. CST.

“We’re ready to get back into our routine (and) get back into school,” Duffy said. “We’ve talked about our team having strength in numbers (in) whatever rotation we’re using. People contribute(d) in many different ways and I liked that today. Hopefully that will give us some confidence going into next weekend.” 

This article was written by Kaylynn Wright. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @KaylynnWrightMU.