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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Marquette starts season with 84-51 win in front of Milwaukee Public School students

Six different Golden Eagles scored double-digit points in Marquette’s 84-51 win over UT-Martin Monday afternoon at the Al McGuire Center. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Thunderstruck rang in the new basketball season in front of 3,000 Milwaukee Public School students Monday afternoon at the Al McGuire Center.

The Golden Eagles opened head coach Megan Duffy’s fifth season at the helm with an 84-51 win over the University of Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks.

“I’m really proud of the overall effort for 40 minutes,” Duffy said. “The balanced scoring we had mixed with reacting to their different defenses was great.”

Overpowering opening

Marquette started the game down 2-0, but after sophomore guard Mackenzie Hare made her presence felt, it was 8-2 Golden Eagles.

Hare went on a personal 8-0 run featuring two layups and net swooshing 3-pointer, helping Marquette get out to a 12-11 lead going into the first timeout.

The Golden Eagles went on a 33-16 run over the next 15 minutes of play, closing out the first half with a steal and score from senior guard Rose Nkumu to go ahead 45-27 heading into halftime.

“We were able to bring a lot of energy, and hitting shots is good, but we stressed that everything started on the defensive end,” Hare said.

Marquette did the dirty work needed on the defensive end in the first half, forcing 12 UT-Martin turnovers and drawing several charges, part of the Skyhawks’ 12 personal fouls in the first half.

“The biggest key to the game was going to out-scrap the other,” Duffy said. “Rose Nkumu drawing four charges and our ability to stick with the game plan regarding their movement and dribble penetration helped us be in the right spot at the right time.”

Hot-Hands Hare and Nkumu

Hare did it all for Marquette in the first half, shooting a perfect 4-for-4 from the field and 2-for-2 from beyond the arc, tallying 11 points and dishing out three assists.

She finished with 17 points, tied her career-high of four assists and shot 6-for-11 from the field.

“She has a great craftiness to her game and she looks confident on the floor,” Duffy said. “She’s a spark for us and a steady presence whether she’s in the lineup or off the bench.”

In the second half, Nkumu traded for Hare’s hand-warmer, shooting 3-for-3 in the second half and finishing with 12 points overall. She also added 10 assists — notching her first double-double of the season — four blocks and three steals.

“I knew they would be aggressive in their zone defenses, so we wanted to move the ball quickly, so I credit my teammates for being able to make their shots and make my job easy,” Nkumu said.

Statistical leaders

Marquette had six players score in double figures, including senior guard Jordan King (14 points) and junior guard Lee Volker (13 points), who transferred from Duke.

“There will be a lot of people incorporated in the offense,” Nkumu said. “We have worked a lot on our ball movement and getting everyone involved.”

For UT-Martin, redshirt first-year Kenley McCarn finished with a team-high 15 points, shooting 5-for-14 from the field.

Big presence 

Senior forward Liza Karlen ended last season on a hot streak, scoring over 10 points in five of the final six games.

She started her this season in similar fashion, picking up her first double-double on the season, finishing with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

First-year forward Skylar Forbes also added 14 points and two boards in her first collegiate game.

“Skylar looked tough inside, she was ready to contribute and our guards got her some good looks,” Duffy said. “Liza will be our anchor all year long, she does a great job of helping our younger players and scoring and getting rebounds on her own.”

Up next

The Golden Eagles (1-0) host the No. 23 ranked Fighting Illini of Illinois at the Al McGuire Center on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 2 p.m. CST.

“They’re dynamic with their guard play and their team is always tough as nails,” Duffy said. “An early test on our home floor will be great for both programs.”

This article was written by Trevor Hilson. He can be reached at [email protected] or @hilsontrevor on X. 

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About the Contributor
Trevor Hilson
Trevor Hilson, Sports Audio Producer
Trevor Hilson is from Muskegon, Michigan and he is a journalism major. He is the Sports Audio Producer for the 2023-24 school year. In his free time, he plays a lot of golf and gives lessons to his friends. He is excited for the national championship banner going into the Fiserv rafters for men's hoops at the start of next season.

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