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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

No. 10 seed Golden Eagles’ season ends against No. 7 Ole Miss in Round of 64, 67-55

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Marquette women’s basketball is now 0-3 in the NCAA Tournament under Megan Duffy. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The music has officially receded for the Marquette women’s basketball team.

The No. 10 seed Golden Eagles fell in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to seventh-seeded Ole Miss Rebels, 67-55, Saturday at Purcell Pavilion.

“Congratulations to Ole Miss. I thought they were tremendous in that fourth quarter, just relentless on their rebounding,” Marquette head coach Megan Duffy said. “But I can’t say enough about my team and their effort and their grit today and really across the whole season.”

The Golden Eagles are now 0-3 in the NCAA Tournament in the Duffy Era.

Rose Nkumu and Liza Karlen lead Marquette

Senior guard Jordan King picked up her third foul with 5:42 left on the clock in the second quarter.

“It was tough having to sit one of your seniors,” Duffy said. “When you are in this juncture of the season, you might be able get to the half on two fouls, and I had to put her back in because we don’t have tomorrow if we don’t win.”

With King off the floor, senior guard Rose Nkumu paved the way for Marquette’s offense, scoring six of her 18 points in that stretch.

“We knew they [Ole Miss] were going to come out aggressive, so we tried to use that to our advantage with our cuts and movement,” Nkumu said.

She also led the team with five assists and three steals.

Senior forward Liza Karlen led the Golden Eagles in scoring and on the glass, finishing with 19 points and 14 rebounds.

“She was double-double today, but I just am so proud of her through this entire year,” Duffy said. “She’s been one of the most improved players in the country.

“Coming in this year, I kind of joked because she didn’t really want to be labeled a go-to player, and then we couldn’t help but call a go-to player because of how much she improved and how much she wanted to put the team on her back.”

Interior invincibility

Led by senior forward and First-Team All-SEC honoree Madison Scott, who had 20 points and six rebounds, the Ole Miss Rebels drove to the basket with their speed and physicality early and often.

“Obviously Madison Scott got going pretty well in those first five minutes (of the fourth quarter), and I thought was the difference in the game,” Duffy said.

Scott was efficient in her midrange shooting, finishing 10-for-17 from the field and not attempting a single three.

“One of the things that makes Maddie special is her belief in her teammates,” Ole Miss head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin said. “She’s like LeBron where she would rather make the right play.”

Out-rebounding Marquette 43-33 and grabbing 17 offensive boards, the Rebels had control of the paint. Ole Miss, one of the country’s best in creating second-chance opportunities, generated 14 second-chance points.

While senior guard Marquesha Davis was limited to her lowest scoring game in nearly a month, senior guard Kennedy Todd-Williams notched 15 points on 5-for-13 shooting. She was one of four players finishing in double figures for the Rebels.

Daunting defense

A game of physicality and discomfort for both sides was a little more enjoyable for the Rebels.

‘Dictate and disrupt’ is how ‘Coach Yo’ describes her defensive philosophy.

Dictate and disrupt they did.

Forcing 17 Marquette turnovers, Ole Miss was able to capitalize with 13 points off the miscues.

“Coming out in the second half, we made the decision to get back to who we are,” McPhee-McCuin said. “We hadn’t had a quarter where we kept them to 12 points or less, and in the fourth quarter we shifted into gear and gave up nine points.”

The end of the road

The Golden Eagles’ season is now over. They’ll head back to Milwaukee and begin a rebuild.

King and graduate student forward Frannie Hottinger are out of eligibility and will not return. Nkumu and Karlen both have one year left, and will have to make a decision about whether or not to use their COVID-19 season. Both were honored at the team’s Senior Night.

If they both leave, Marquette will lose four of its starting five, returning only sophomore guard Kenzie Hare.

“I feel for our seniors right now who won’t get another shot to play a game,” Duffy said. “But just overall just so proud of our young women and what they’ve accomplished this season.”

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, 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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