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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

No. 23 Marquette stays undefeated with 88-59 win over Memphis

Sophomore guard Kenzie Hare scored 17 points in Marquette’s 88-59 win over Memphis. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

No. 23 Marquette women’s basketball’s hot start to the 2023-24 season didn’t end Wednesday night, as the Golden Eagles (7-0) beat the Memphis Tigers (2-5) 88-59 at the Al McGuire Center.

But senior guard Rose Nkumu recalls last year, when Marquette was ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll for one week in late November before dropping out for the rest of the year.

“We were ranked around this time last year, and it didn’t last long,” Nkumu said. “We just have to stay composed regardless of who steps on the floor, ranked or not.”

With the win, the Golden Eagles continue their best start in program history.

Karlen’s quarter

Senior forward Liza Karlen was Marquette’s leader on both ends of the floor in the first quarter.

She shot a perfect 4-for-4 from the field and 1-for-1 from beyond the arc, cashing in nine points for Marquette and leading all scorers after the first. She also added a block defensively and three rebounds.

“There were certain gaps we found, and we had to take what they gave us,” Karlen said. “They were pressing, and that allowed for some easy transition buckets. I had to stay aggressive and hunt for my shot.”

Memphis shot 50% from the field in the first quarter — its best clip all game — to lead 21-20 after the first ten minutes.

“I was concerned about how we would come out after two great wins in Florida,” Head Coach Megan Duffy said on the first frame. “My concerns came to fruition. Memphis was on ten days rest and had put a couple of new wrinkles in, which caught us on our heels.”

Staunching second 

After the first-quarter deficit, Marquette held Memphis to six total second-quarter points while scoring 23.

The Golden Eagles held the Tigers to 21.4% from the field in the second frame, including shooting 0-for-5 from three.

“I told the girls in the locker room that I was proud of how they responded,” Duffy said. “We were a little flat and didn’t let it fill into the second quarter.”

Marquette closed the lid on the first quarter by opening their dominant second with a 7-0 run, spearheaded by two pick-and-roll layups from Nkumu and a triple from sophomore guard Kenzie Hare.

Hare had all nine of her first-half points in the second quarter, all coming beyond the 3-point line.

Statistical leaders

Senior guard Rose Nkumu scored a career-high 17 points, shooting 6-for-7 from the field. Karlen finished with a game-high 21 points, while recording nine rebounds and two blocks. Senior guard Jordan King led Marquette with six assists, also tallying 14 points.

For Memphis, fifth year guard Kai Carter scored a team-high 18 points on 7-for-20 shooting.

Consistency counts 

Marquette had four scorers in double figures for the sixth time this season.

“It is a bit of an unknown as to who will be that double-figure scorer, and it’s a blessing to have that,” Duffy said. “We have a philosophy here: as long as the ball is moving and we’re taking good shots, everyone has the green light to do it.”

On top of the balanced attack, the Golden Eagles shot 10-for-16 from the three-point line and had 24 assists on their 33 makes.

They also didn’t shoot below 50% in a quarter.

Karlen said the team’s connectedness has played a role in their offensive output and early season success.

“Our connectedness on the court is completely built off of it,” Karlen said. “Individual relationships and groups build the chemistry off the court.”

Up next 

Marquette welcomes the Penn Quakers (5-2) to the Al McGuire Center Sunday, Dec. 3. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. CST.

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