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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Marquette’s poor fourth quarter spelled disaster against South Florida

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(Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

COLUMBIA S.C. — After a missed buzzer-beater from first-year guard Mackenzie Hare, the Marquette women’s basketball team fell to the University of South Florida Bulls in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament 67-65 in overtime.

“For the first game of Friday, it was obviously absolutely exciting,” Marquette head coach Megan Duffy said. “Give South Florida a lot of credit. I thought they made a great run in that fourth quarter to cut our lead and just made a few more plays down the stretch.”

But for most of the game, it seemed as though Marquette would be the victors, not the vanquished.

Everything was looking up for the Golden Eagles by the end of the third frame as they took a 51-45 lead into the fourth quarter.

Then, South Florida flipped the switch and the madness of March was felt.

“We were down four at half, we were down six going into the fourth,” South Florida head coach José Fernandez said. “The first five minutes are key. They’re very, very important.”

After brushing off the cobwebs, the Bulls started the fourth quarter by forcing senior forward Chloe Marotta to commit her third foul of the game. The Golden Eagles would then go 1-for-5 on their next five shots.

In response, the Bulls pieced together a 9-0 run after a layup and net-swooshing 3-pointer from senior guard Elena Tsineke. The Thessaloniki, Greece native gave South Florida a 59-55 advantage, which marked its first lead of the game and forced a timeout from Duffy.

“I just had to contribute for the team,” Tsineke said about her shooting down the stretch. “I didn’t want to leave this game without having done nothing for the team to win. So I had to take responsibility.”

Marquette would go on to narrowly scrape four points from the depths of despair and force overtime off two timely free-throws from Hare with three seconds remaining.

But the Golden Eagles had serious troubles down the stretch.

They scored eight points in the last regulation period compared to the Bulls’ 14. They got out-rebounded 25-17 and gave up eight points off of five turnovers.

South Florida additionally had twice the amount of points in the paint as Marquette and nearly twice the amount of second chance points.

The leading scorer for the Golden Eagles, Marotta, committed two fouls in the quarter and their leading rebounder, junior forward Liza Karlen, picked up her fourth foul.

While there was another period of play, Marquette could not overcome its foul trouble and South Florida’s momentum, resulting in the Golden Eagles passing up an opportunity to play in the Round of 32.

In the blink of an eye, Marquette’s 2022-23 season was over. A campaign filled with highs, like its win over UConn, and lows, like its loss to UCLA in the Battle 4 Atlantis Championship Game, had come to an end.

The Golden Eagles fly back to Milwaukee with no more games ahead of them.

“It’s been an awesome year because we’re in the dance and we earned every piece of it,” Duffy said. “The positive Pollyanna in me will say there’s been some amazing moments and that’s why it’s so hard when you watch our women in that locker room just devastated and upset.”

This article was written by Jack Albright. He can be reached [email protected] or on Twitter @JackAlbrightMU.  

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About the Contributor
Jack Albright, Executive Sports Editor
Jack Albright is a sophomore from Charlton, Massachusetts studying journalism. He is the Executive Sports Editor of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-24 school year. In his free time, Jack likes to hang out with friends and watch Formula 1. He is excited to write fun stories about all things Marquette athletics and oversee new types of digital content.

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