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Marquette Wire

Hare’s ability to shoot deep ball fills hole for women’s basketball

Photo by Alex DeBuhr
First-year guard Kenzie Hare moving with the ball in women’s basketball’s game over Xavier Jan. 25.

When the Marquette women’s basketball season started, first-year guard Mackenzie Hare found herself being utilized off the bench. Now through 23 games, Hare’s shooting ability is the foundation for growth.

One area where Hare has contributed to her team this season has come from her ability to shoot the deep ball. Hare ranks third on the team in 3-point percentage, shooting .328.

“We needed somebody to fill that void for us,” Komara said. “Kenzie’s been fearless to come into games and shoot, she’s not afraid to take shots. She really has filled that void for us as an outside shooter.”

In her last four games, Hare has averaged 13 points and three assists.

Senior guard Jordan King said Hare has become a “spark” off the bench for the team. 

“Kenzie is doing a great job of that, coming in and being an offensive threat for us,” King said. “But then continuing to learn her role defensively and getting in the passing lanes with deflections and rebounds as well.”

It took repetition to get Hare to develop her game outside of scoring.

“(It was) helping her understand her value not just as a shooter but as a playmaker and then getting reps doing it,” assistant coach Kelly Komara said. “(Either from) live play during practice, when we do scrimmages or break downs just continuing to be that earpiece in her ear letting her know, ‘Hey get your playmaking, get your playing making’ until it becomes a habit.”

Komara said the learning curve is normal, and Hare is learning from watching.

“It’s not like, ‘Oh man, I’m gonna give her a scholarship because she’s a really good defender.’ I mean, that doesn’t happen very often so they’re always a little bit behind when they come into college,” Komara said. “We’ll watch film, over defense and games and practices. Watching people do it the right way. So, you know, maybe pull clips of her teammates Rose (Nkumu) and Jordan (King), you know defending a play the right way.”

Hare said her transition from high school to college came with a learning curve on defense.

“All the other teams, they have very complex offenses,” Hare said. “You always have to be active and aware. It definitely takes some getting used to from high school, where you can definitely take some plays off on defense. You can’t take a play off in college.” 

Hare said two ways that she overcame these struggles was building confidence through reps and watching film with Komara.

“Defense really comes down to the techniques, the fundamentals and then having the will to do it,” Hare said. “Then getting down into stance and having the will to be like, ‘My person is not scoring me’ or, ‘I’m gonna go help my teammate so they don’t get scored on either.’ So kind of just being able to do that.”

Hare seems to be adjusting to the learning curve alright, earning Big East Freshman of the Week honors Jan. 30 after averaging 10.5 points in wins over Seton Hall and Butler while shooting 46.7 from the field and 50% from beyond the arc.

“Confidence really doesn’t come from the accolade, it comes from my teammates,” Hare said. “Obviously, I was really grateful for that. But it came from my teammates and their confidence in me as well as my coaching staff. That allowed me (to) play the way I play and do the best I can out there.” 

Hare said that the consistent reps is what got her there.

“My teammates have been doing a great job of finding me during the game,” Hare said. “I like to come back at night and get some reps on the gun or get some shots off of my teammates. Kind of just that repetition of seeing the ball go in the basket and then not being afraid to let it fly when you get in the game.” 

In addition to the extra reps, King said she has seen an eagerness to learn from Hare.

“Kenzie has been really great with just being open to hearing anything that I’ve had to say or any of our other senior leaders have had to say,” King said. “The biggest thing is trying to take in as much knowledge as you can and trying to learn from the upperclassmen.”

With the regular season winding down and the Golden Eagles in the mix for a first round bye in next month’s Big East Tournament, Hare said she hopes to keep making plays for her team while continuing to improve herself. 

“Just continuing to get better,” Hare said. “Do whatever I can to make the team successful.”

This story was written by Emma Kroll. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @emma_kroll_.

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About the Contributor
Emma Kroll
Emma Kroll, Executive Social Media Producer
Emma Kroll is a sophomore from Janesville, Wisconsin studying journalism and public relations and is the Executive Social Media Producer of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Prior to this position, she served as a sports reporter. Outside of the Wire, she enjoys spending time with her fellow Alpha Chis, exploring her community, and spending time outdoors. She is excited to start this new role and be creative in her reporting.

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