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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Women’s basketball falls to South Florida in overtime in first round of NCAA Tournament

(Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

COLUMBIA, S.C. — It came down to the last shot. Literally.

With seconds winding down in overtime, first-year guard MacKenzie Hare had the ball in her hands looking to send Marquette to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

However, Hare’s shot rimmed out as the Golden Eagles fell to South Florida 67-65 in overtime in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Colonial Life Arena Friday afternoon.

“It’s the hardest day of the year,” head coach Megan Duffy said. “I went to Chloe and Jordan both and I just told them how I wasn’t gonna have a magical speech at the end just how proud I was of them their fight and their heart. I thought we played some great basketball at times today.”

Statistical Leaders

Senior forward Chloe Marotta led the way for the Golden Eagles with 25 points on 11-for-20 shooting. Senior guard Jordan King pitched in 16 points and first-year guard Emily La Chapell tacked on 13.

The Golden Eagles out-assisted the Bulls 12 to four behind three assists from four players: King, junior guard Rose Nkumu, senior forward Kennedi Myles and first-year guard Mackenzie Hare.

“Coach mentioned that they only had four assists. That’s a great stat for us,” Marotta said. “Defensively, we were really locked in on that.”

Junior forward Liza Karlen led Marquette with 10 rebounds.

Redshirt senior forward Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu led the Bulls with 22 points.

Sticking to it

The Golden Eagles took no time to get going, forcing three turnovers for the Bulls in the opening minutes.

Offensively, meanwhile, Marquette got eight early points from La Chapell on its 10-2 run in the first quarter.

Marquette led 16-11 at the end of the first frame.

The second quarter was dead even for both sides, each scoring 16 points a piece in the stanza.

South Florida was able to get Marquette’s lead down to one at the 8:22 mark but the Bulls then fell into an over four minute scoreless drought.

King kept the Bulls at bay down the stretch, as she rattled off six straight points to end the half.

Marquette’s defense held South Florida to 1-for-8 from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes.

“Our defense is what got us to this point here. You’ve seen it throughout the season,” King said. “Today, the way that we showed up and we were able to defend their top scorers at times and blow up their actions. That was really huge for us and what was able to keep us in the game.”

Marotta magic

Marotta meant all business in the third quarter.

With her team’s lead whittled down to four points, Marotta capped off a 9-2 Marquette run with a 3-pointer to build the lead back up to double-digits.

The All-Big East First Team honoree scored the Golden Eagles final 11 points in the third to send them into the fourth leading 51-45.

“She’s everything good about college athletics and women’s basketball,” Duffy said. “She loves Marquette, she loves her teammates, she loves her coaching staff and we would be nowhere without her this season.”

It is March after all

The fourth quarter started slow and turned into complete chaos after Marquette hit its second-to-last field goal of the game at the 3:20 mark.

From there South Florida went on a 10-0 run to take a 59-55 advantage with 30 seconds left.

Nkumu and La Chapell then scrapped together a force ball giving Marquette back the ball. Following some tactical South Florida fouls to drain the clock, Hare got knocked over sending her to the line with three seconds left looking to tie the game.

“We’ve been in that position with this team multiple times, continuing to keep our composure,” King said. “Something I always tell the team is ‘we got to this moment because of our execution’.”

Hare swished both free-throws to send the game into overtime.

King drilled a pair of free-throws to give the Golden Eagles a 65-64 lead with 42 seconds to go. The Bulls quickly ran down the court and responded with a jumper to retake the lead at 66-55.

With 10 seconds left, Hare side-stepped her defender and took the open shot looking to pull off an upset.

Hare’s first 3-pointer bounced right off the front of the rim.

Then after getting the ball back with seven seconds left, King found first-year in open space.

After spinning around the rim and halfway through the net, Hare’s 3-pointer rolled out ending the Golden Eagles season.

“We trust her with everything we have in us. We’ve done that a million times in practice,” Marotta said. “I’m so proud of her. I told her she got us to overtime. She had those two free throws, she knocked them down. She was confident. Lucky for Kenzie, she’s gonna have many more years to hit that shot.”

Marquette concludes the season with a 21-11 overall record.

Marotta ends her historic career with the Golden Eagles ranking eighth in program history with 912 rebounds and 29th all-time with 1,094 points.

“There’s way too much to even put into words,” Marotta said about her time at Marquette. “I’m so thankful for for this experience for Coach Duffy and for all my teammates. It’s been an amazing five years and I wouldn’t ask for anything else.”

This article was written by John Gunville. He can be reached at j[email protected] or on Twitter @GunvilleJohn.

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About the Contributor
John Gunville
John Gunville, Sports Reporter
John is a Sports Reporter at the Wire. He is a senior from Hartland, WI studying international affairs and Spanish and minoring in economics. In his free time, John enjoys playing on the Birdhouse ultimate frisbee team and has been to over 200 Marquette men's basketball games. This year John is looking forward to growing as a writer and share his passion for Marquette sports.

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