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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

How rebounding has become a pillar of Marquette under Megan Duffy

Photo by Keifer Russell
Liza Karlen leads Marquette with 7.4 rebounds per game.

Through good and bad, there has been one constant for Marquette women’s basketball under head coach Megan Duffy: rebounding.

“We work on rebounding every single day,” senior forward Liza Karlen said.

Rebounding has been a big point of emphasis for the Golden Eagles throughout Duffy’s time at Marquette’s helm, and the numbers show that whatever she is preaching, works. The Golden Eagles currently boast the best rebounding margin in the Big East (+6.3).

“It’s an emphasis for us,” Duffy said after Marquette’s win at DePaul Tuesday. “Just making sure we are emphasizing it no matter what is going on is important.”

Over the past four and a half seasons, the Golden Eagles have grabbed an average of 39 rebounds per game, while limiting its opponents to 31. The interesting thing for Marquette, though, is that it hasn’t traditionally boasted height, having had one player that was taller than 6-foot-3 in that time frame.

“We know that we don’t have the biggest post players,” Karlen said. “We know as a post group that we’re kind of already at a disadvantage, so it all comes down to the work and who wants the ball more.

“We know we have to boxout harder and use our IQ when it comes to rebounding. Knowing what type of rebounding you are is very important too.”

And over the past couple of years, Marquette has had some of the best rebounders in program history come and go.

In 2022, it saw former forward Lauren Van Kleunen graduate with 802 career rebounds, landing her tenth on the program’s all-time rebounding list. Then in 2023, it was former forward Chloe Marotta who graduated No. 8 on the all-time rebounding list at Marquette (912).

One might think that losing all those rebounds would take a big toll on the Golden Eagles’ rebounding numbers, but it hasn’t. While Marquette is grabbing about two boards less a game than it was last season, it is giving up four and a half less rebounds a game as well.

Graduate student forward Frannie Hottinger has been one of the better transfers in recent memory for the Golden Eagles. At Lehigh in 2023, the Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota native averaged 20.3 points and 9.5 rebounds on her way to being named Patriot League Player of the Year.

Hottinger has helped fill the void left by Marotta in a big way this season, starting 21 games for the Golden Eagles thus far. Hottinger is currently averaging 7.3 rebounds a game, including a contest in which she grabbed a season-high 21 rebounds in a thrilling 99-91 win over Appalachian State Dec. 17.

“I think Coach Duffy and the coaching staff had trust in me as a rebounder to come in and help,” Hottinger said. “I also knew too that I could play more of a four position, being able to be down low and trying to get those boards is something that I find fun.”

First year forward Skylar Forbes has come in and made an immediate impact on the glass as well. The Markham, Ontario native is averaging exactly four rebounds a game.

Listed as Marquette’s tallest player, the 6-foot-3 Forbes sits fourth on the team in rebounds per game (4.0) — behind Karlen (7.7), Hottinger (7.3) and Jordan King (4.7).

Karlen said that the newcomers on the squad this season have been a big reason why they have continued to dominate the glass.

“Losing Chloe we knew was going to hurt, but I’ve been playing with Frannie since I was 13, 14 years old and I know the type of player that she is.” Karlen said. “With someone like Skylar and Halle (Vice), to have those two freshman come in raw talent right off the bat, they’re very tall, they’re very long and they can move very well.

“It just takes so much pressure like you said off of me to not have to worry about every single rebound and knowing that if I’m not on weak side, I have another post player that will have my back on the boards.”

Hottinger said that the Golden Eagles have to focus on the little things heading into the postseason — and rebounding is a key part of that mission.

“It’s not going to be about who makes the perfect shot or not,” Hottinger said. “It’s going to be about who can rebound, and who can defend, who can dive on the floor. Just an emphasis on that day-in and day-out.”

This story was written by Matthew Baltz. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter/X @MatthewBaltzMU.

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About the Contributors
Matthew Baltz
Matthew Baltz, Sports Reporter
Matthew Baltz is a sophomore from Colona, Illinois majoring in journalism and minoring digital media. He is a sports reporter for the 2023-24 school year. In high school, he played basketball, baseball and ran cross country. In his free time, Matt enjoys hanging out with his friends and going to MLB games. He is most excited to write game recaps and tribune stories.
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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