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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

King and Karlen come up big in Golden Eagles’ first ranked win of the season

Jordan King scored the final three points in Marquette’s 71-67 win over No. 23 Illinois Saturday afternoon. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

The Al McGuire Center was shaking, everybody on their feet, yelling in support of their team. With just over three minutes to play, Marquette women’s basketball was up by one point and the game was on a knife-edge.

That is when seniors Jordan King and Liza Karlen went to work.

Scoring Marquette’s last nine points, King and Karlen secured the Golden Eagles’ hard-fought 71-67 win over the No. 23 Illinois Fighting Illini Saturday afternoon.

“We knew it was going to be a battle,” Karlen said. “Illinois prides itself on rebounding, so do we. They have a great starting five and a great six man as well, so they returned everyone and have that established chemistry. We knew if we locked down defensively and executed offensively that we could pull away with a win.” 

Marquette (2-0) is now 6-2 in program history against Illinois (1-1).

“Really proud of our team today just a great environment today at the Al McGuire Center,” Marquette head coach Megan Duffy said. “These early non-conference tests are a great opportunity for both teams to see where you are at early in the season.”

King closes the game

King was standing at the free-throw line with 14 seconds remaining in the game as the Golden Eagles led 68-67.

The Rockton, Illinois native scored both of them to give Marquette a three-point lead and force a timeout from Illinois.

“Knowing I’ve shot a million free throws across my lifetime and obviously just here at Marquette leading up to the game, just getting up to that line and knowing its muscle memory you’ve doing it a million times so just knock it down,” King said. 

Out of the break, Illini senior guard Genesis Bryant missed a 3-pointer and King got the rebound — her sixth of the game — and was immediately fouled with three seconds remaining.

Back at the charity stripe, King missed the first shot, but swished the second, securing the win for Marquette.

The 5-foot-11 guard scored the Golden Eagles’ final three points and finished with 19 on the day.

Statistical leaders  

Karlen led all scorers with 22 points, shooting 11-for-16 from the field. Senior guard Rose Nkumu finished with 12 points and shot 100% from beyond the arc for the second game in a row. Graduate student guard/forward Frannie Hottinger — who shot 1-for-7 Monday — ended with 11 points and eight rebounds.

“We have a team where it’s going to shift,” Karlen said. “There isn’t going to be a main go-to person necessarily… It felt good to score but I am very team oriented and I’m just excited for our next game.” 

Senior center Camille Hobby led the Illini with 18 points, also earning eight rebounds. Senior forward Kendall Bostic scored 14 points, shooting 6-for-7 from the field.

Erasing an early deficit

Even though Marquette was trailing 16-14 by the end of the opening frame, the Golden Eagles turned it around in the second, outscoring the Illini 23-18.

Marquette started the second quarter by going on an extended 14-4 to run to lead 28-20 and force a timeout from Illinois. Out of the timeout, King made one from deep and it was an 11-point Golden Eagles’ lead.

The Illini responded with force, piecing together their own 12-4 run and hitting a buzzer-beating jumper from Hobby to trail by one score heading into the break.

“We talked about coming in this game, there was going to be a ton of runs, Illinois can really score the basketball at times,” Duffy said. “And even when you had a little bit of a lead, you knew that could dissipate pretty quickly. So I thought we were getting good quality shots early on, just some of them didn’t fall, some of them was Illinois’ pressure and making some plays on us.”

Even though Marquette nearly squandered its sizable advantage, the Golden Eagles finished the quarter with more points (23-18), assists (6-4) and rebounds (8-5) and went to the locker room with a 37-34 lead.

Up next 

The Golden Eagles will travel to Indiana to take on the IUPUI Jaguars Wednesday night. The game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. CST.

This story was written by Sophia Woods. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @SophiaWoodsMU. 

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About the Contributor
Sophia Woods
Sophia Woods, Assistant Sports Editor
Sophia Woods is a first-year student from Plainfield, Illinois studying business management and journalism, serving as an Assistant Sports Editor of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 year. She has experience in writing sports and feature articles. Outside of writing, Sophia enjoys snowmobiling, spending time with family and playing tennis.

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