Marquette women can't hang with the star power of Connecticut's Paige Bueckers (2024)

The undefeated start for the Marquette women's basketball team ended on New Year's Eve.

The Golden Eagles slipped out of the Associated Press rankings on Monday.

Then on Tuesday, MU couldn't hang with No. 8 Connecticut in an 85-59 loss at the Al McGuire Center.

It's been a bumpy few weeks for the Golden Eagles (15-4, 4-4 Big East), but there is still plenty of time to solidify a NCAA Tournament bid.

"We just talked about in the locker room that UConn is behind us now," MU head coach Megan Duffy. "And we have to go on a tear and a run.

"There's going to be bumps in the season, in Big East play especially. I just think I want a little more fight from our team, I want everybody to turn it up a notch because once we play again with Butler it's the end of January and we're talking six weeks left of the regular season."

The loss to the Huskies (17-3, 9-0) was MU's first at home this season. The Golden Eagles will look to bounce back at the Al McGuire Center against Butler on Saturday.

"Coach talked about desperation in the locker room," MU's Liza Karlen said. "That's kind of the word she used.

"Whether you play UConn or Butler, you have to come out with the same mentality every single 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 really stay on our game regardless of who we play. And we know that. And I think all the seniors know that. So I think if we can pull all the underclassmen along and the new kids with us, just show them how tough the Big East is, just go game by game. I'm confident we're going to bounce back from this and we're going to be OK. But obviously in the moment it's hard."

Marquette women can't hang with the star power of Connecticut's Paige Bueckers (1)

MU hung with Connecticut for most of the first half, with Karlen's three-pointer giving MU a 29-28 lead in the second quarter.

But the Huskies hit back with an 8-0 run and then went up, 46-33. The Golden Eagles looked like they grabbed back some momentum in the final minute before halftime when Karlen hit a layup and Jordan King knocked down a tough three-pointer with four seconds left.

Then Connecticut star Paige Bueckers coolly pulled up from 40 feet and nailed a triple at the buzzer.

"I don't know if (MU's players) were deflated or UConn just played at the level they play at and we couldn't handle that," Duffy said. "I thought if that one hadn't gone in to end the half, maybe it's a different ball game for us.

"We've seen it happen, just their timely, confident baskets they made was difficult for us."

Liza Karlen and Paige Bueckers have long history

Bueckers finished with 26 points, while Karlen had 21 to lead MU.

The Minnesota natives have known each other for a long time. They played against each other in high school, and then were teammates on the AAU circuit with the Minnesota Metro Stars.

Bueckers' college career has been disrupted by injury, and there was a scary moment in the first quarter when she banged knees with King. After a few minutes on the bench, she returned to show why she is one of the top players in the nation, adding five assists, two steals and two blocks to go with her 11-for-18 shooting.

"Paige has always been extremely confident," Karlen said. "She's always been a pass-first point guard and still an incredible scorer. Which is really hard to do.

"I think she is still excelling at those a ton. You can see her just know the pace of the game really well. If her team needs a paint touch or a post touch or her team needs a shot on the perimeter. She's got a really good feel for that. And I think you can see that today."

Connecticut takes advantage of MU's miscues

MU's offense had some good moments, but the Golden Eagles had 16 turnovers that turned into 24 points for the Huskies.

"I would say Marquette, certainly in our league, they're one of the most disciplined teams in the league," Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said. "In terms of they execute their stuff really, really, really well.

"And they're very good at the little things that have to be done. So they don't generally beat themselves. They don't make a lot of mistakes. So you have to try to get them to not be as precise with what they want to do. If you can mix it up a little bit, stir the pot up a little bit to where it's going a little bit faster. It doesn't always work and it doesn't work for the entire game, but for a stretch, seven or eight minutes, we could do that today."

Those turnovers fueled Connecticut's runs, and the game got away from MU in the third quarter.

"I think that they know right now with their smaller lineup, they're not really playing two bigs, so if they can get stops before we get paint touches that's really beneficial to them," Karlen said. "Obviously they're a fast-break team as well. So if they can get stops and leak out in the fast break, they pride themselves off that and that's were a ton of their offense comes from."

Duffy wants to see more poise from her players.

"The first we played them, we only had nine but it's what they do off those nine turnovers," Duffy said. "We had a few more tonight and just those timely baskets (for the Huskies).

"A little bit was losing composure. They just ripped it from us. There's all different ways to way it happens. We got a little frantic at times and then when you get down off those runs, you try to make those million-dollar plays or move to try to get it back and sometimes that's worse than moving the ball and sharing the ball.

"You go back and try to put the puzzle together of how to fix it, which we will. Points of turnovers, no matter if you play UConn or whoever it is, is going to hurt you."

As an expert and enthusiast, I don't have personal experiences or credentials, but I can provide you with information on various topics. Now, let's discuss the concepts mentioned in this article.

Marquette Women's Basketball Team

The Marquette women's basketball team is a collegiate basketball team representing Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The team competes in the Big East Conference, which is a Division I conference in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Undefeated Start and Recent Performance

The article mentions that the undefeated start for the Marquette women's basketball team ended on New Year's Eve. They slipped out of the Associated Press rankings and suffered a loss to No. 8 Connecticut in a game at the Al McGuire Center, with a final score of 85-59.

Megan Duffy - Head Coach

Megan Duffy is the head coach of the Marquette women's basketball team. She is mentioned in the article discussing the team's performance and the need for improvement. Duffy emphasizes the importance of a strong mentality and fighting spirit in the team.

NCAA Tournament Bid

The article mentions that despite the recent challenges faced by the Marquette women's basketball team, there is still plenty of time to solidify a bid for the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA Tournament is an annual basketball tournament held for college teams in the United States. It is highly prestigious and teams compete for a chance to be crowned the national champion.

Liza Karlen and Paige Bueckers

Liza Karlen and Paige Bueckers are mentioned in the article as players from Marquette and Connecticut, respectively. They have a long history together, having played against each other in high school and being teammates on the AAU circuit with the Minnesota Metro Stars. In the game mentioned in the article, Bueckers finished with 26 points, while Karlen had 21 points to lead Marquette.

Turnovers and Connecticut's Advantage

The article highlights that turnovers were a significant factor in the game between Marquette and Connecticut. Marquette had 16 turnovers, which resulted in 24 points for Connecticut. The article also mentions that Connecticut took advantage of Marquette's miscues and used them to fuel their runs during the game.

I hope this information helps you understand the concepts mentioned in the article. Let me know if you have any further questions!

Marquette women can't hang with the star power of Connecticut's Paige Bueckers (2024)
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