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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Golden Eagles lose at home for first time this season to No. 8 UConn, 85-59

Photo by Keifer Russell
Rose Nkumu drives to the basket in Marquette’s 85-59 loss to UConn Tuesday night.

Paige Bueckers did not think her half-court buzzer-beater at the end of the first half was a lucky make.

UConn head coach Geno Auriemma disagreed.

“She practices those constantly and makes a few, so it’s luck,” Auriemma said.

Whether or not it was luck is up for debate, but what isn’t is that Bueckers’ half-court make canceled out Jordan King’s 3-pointer that went in seconds earlier and ended all of Marquette women’s basketball’s momentum dead-stop.

“It’s like a layup for her it feels like sometimes,” Marquette head coach Megan Duffy said about the buzzer-beater.

Bueckers’ shot put the Golden Eagles (15-4, 4-4 Big East) down 49-38 at halftime en route to an 85-59 loss to the No. 8 Huskies (17-3, 9-0 Big East) Tuesday night at the Al McGuire Center.

“We lost lost our composure on a couple of UConn’s runs,” Duffy said. “Just really costly, that last four minutes of the second quarter, and then parts of that third quarter and just, a team like that you can’t recover if you let them go on their runs.”

Bueckers has her way 

Bueckers exited the game early in the first quarter — grabbing her left knee — after going down hard.

However, the ice she put on it did its job quickly, as the Hopkins, Minnesota native re-entered the game minutes later at the first media timeout. She finished the opening frame with seven points and led all scorers with 26 on the night, shooting 4-for-5 from beyond the arc.

“She’s in complete control all the time,” Duffy said. “As soon as you make a mistake, she takes advantage of it.”

At the end of the first quarter, Bueckers attempted her first half-court buzzer-beater of the night. It landed way short of the basket. Safe to say she corrected her mistake the next time around.

In the second frame, Bueckers capped off an 8-0 UConn scoring run with a 3-pointer to give the Huskies a 36-29 advantage. Her next two baskets were a jumper and the half-court buzzer-beater, which gave UConn its first double-digit lead, one it didn’t relinquish for the rest of the game.

Third quarter seals the loss for Marquette

UConn was able to open things up in the second half with momentum from Bueckers’ half-court heave.

The Huskies started the third frame on a 6-0 run. Two minutes later, they went on a 7-0 run. Later in the quarter they went on an 8-0 run, which forced a timeout from Duffy.

“Little breakdowns by us forced mistakes and allowed them to make open shots,” Duffy said on the third frame. “We had to try and sustain the wave of Edwards inside and then four guards on the perimeter who can all shoot the ball.”

Overall in the quarter, UConn outscored Marquette 23-14 and took a 20-point lead going into the final frame.

Golden Eagles’ turnover problems continue

Marquette’s season-long turnover issues continued Tuesday night.

The Golden Eagles finished the game with 16 turnovers, which accounted for 24 of UConn’s points.

“The first time we played, we only had nine but it’s what they do off those nine turnovers, and we had a few more tonight,” Duffy said. “And a little bit was losing some composure, a little bit is just they just ripped it from us. I mean there’s all different ways of why it happens.

“We got a little frantic at times, and then you’re trying to, once you get down off those runs, then you try and make this million-dollar move to try and get back. And sometimes that’s worse than just moving the ball and sharing it.”

Statistical leaders

Senior forward Liza Karlen finished with 21 points on 10-for-17 shooting. Sophomore guard Kenzie Hare was right behind with 19 points, shooting 6-for-12 overall and 4-for-6 from deep.

For UConn, senior foward Aaliyah Edwards finished with a 10 point, 12 rebound double-double. Nika Muhl (13), KK Arnold (13) and Ashlynn Shade (15) also scored double-digit points.

Up next

Marquette welcomes the Butler Bulldogs (8-10, 0-7) to the Al McGuire Center Saturday, Jan. 27 for Alumni Day. Tip is scheduled for 4 p.m. CST.

“Coach talks about desperation in the locker room,” Karlen said. “Whether we play UConn or Butler, you have to come out with the same mentality every time.

“There’s not a team in the Big East that we can’t beat, and there’s not a team in the Big East that can’t beat us, so we have to really stand our game, regardless of who we play.”

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 Contributors
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.
Keifer Russell
Keifer Russell, Staff Photographer
Keifer Russell is a junior from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin studying digital media and public relations and is a Staff Photographer of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire he enjoys rock climbing, photography (figures), as well as finding and listening to new music. He is very excited to further refine his photographic content over the next year

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