MU's Arlesia Morse scored a team-high 22 points in Sunday's win over SHU
Feb. 15, 2015
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MILWAUKEE— In a thrilling fashion, the Marquette University women’s basketball team (7-19, 3-12) shocked No. RV/24 Seton Hall (22-4, 11-3) with a 73-70, victory at the Al McGuire Center on Senior Day Sunday afternoon at the Al McGuire Center.
The Golden Eagles featured four players in double figures, with senior sharpshooter Arlesia Morse leading the charge with 22 points along with seven rebounds. Classmate Chelsie Butler finished with 13 points and seven boards, and Kenisha Bell and Lauren Tibbs each notched 10 points in MU’s hard-fought victory.
After missing a pair of free throws late in Sunday’s action, freshman Tia Elbert remained calm and collected, and atoned for her misses with a pair of makes to seal the deal for Marquette. Leading 71-68, after SHU’s Daisha Simmons missed a point-blank lay in. MU’s Elbert grabbed the rebound and was fouled immediately to send her back to the line. This time Elbert converted both attempts and gave Marquette a 73-68 advantage. SHU would hustle back to its end of the floor and score quickly. MU then inbounded the ball into Morse’s hands, who lost control of the ball and SHU’s Tabatha Richardson-Smith scooped it up. Smith-Richardson hoisted a desperation three-pointer after the buzzer sounded at the Al McGuire Center, as Marquette walked away with a victory over the BIG EAST’s best team.
Morse converted 13-of-14 from the free throw line, several of which came during the latter stages of the contest. The Flint, Michigan native saw her consecutive free throw streak end at 51, falling just short of the nation’s longest-ever streak, which sits at 60.
SHU saw most of its offensive production come from the trio of Daisha Simmons, Ka-Deidre Simmons and Richardson-Smith who scored over 75 percent of the Pirates’ points. Daisha Simmons led all scorers with 26 points coming off of 12-of-32 shooting from the field.
MU opened the second half strong, stretching its lead to as high as 17. Seton Hall would respond, cutting the deficit back to single digits with 13-0 scoring run to draw within seven with under 12 minutes to play. The Blue and Gold struggled to score, going over 6 minutes without a basket during this stretch, but a basket plus the foul from MU’s Bell broke the Pirates’ run.
In the second half, SHU ramped up its defensive intensity and its pesky perimeter defense forced several turnovers which led to transition scores.
Marquette led Seton Hall, 47-33 at the half. Morse put together an excellent first half of play, scoring 15 points, grabbing six rebounds and adding three assists. Butler was a force inside, scoring 11 points and adding four boards. Its 47 point in the first half were the most Marquette has scored in any single one half this season. MU’s persistent rebounding was a key factor in the first half, as it collected a season-high 30 first half boards, and outrebounded its opponent by 13. After most of the first half consisted of back-and-forth action, the Golden Eagles went on a 15-4 run to close out the first stanza and carry a double-digit lead into the break. Marquette’s 14 point advantage was the largest lead it has held going into halftime all season.
All four seniors started together for the first time this season.
Morse fittingly opened the scoring Sunday afternoon with a pair of free throws, hitting her 42nd and 43rd consecutive buckets this season.
Elbert, finished with just three points, but her two free throws with 13 seconds to play proved to be a difference maker in Marquette’s win.
Seniors Morse, Butler, Ojulu and Bigica were all honored in a pregame ceremony. All four of Marquette’s seniors each appeared in over 100 games during their respective tenures in Milwaukee.
After Sunday’s senior day matchup with the Seton Hall Pirates, Marquette wraps up its 2014-15 regular season campaign with a string of three-consecutive road contests. The Golden Eagles kick off the three-game road swing Friday night, Feb. 20, with a matchup at Providence at 6 p.m. Central time.