Golden Eagles Cruise Past Illinois, 64-44, in WNIT First Round
March 17, 2006
MILWAUKEE -- Marquette advanced in the Women's National Invitation Tournament with a 64-44 win over Illinois in the first round. With the win, the Golden Eagles advance to take on Iowa State on Monday night in Ames.
A 15-point, 10-rebound effort by junior forward Christina Quaye, led Marquette (19-10) to the first-round victory. It was Quaye's foruth double double of the season.
Marquette was also led by the three point shooting of junior forward Danielle Kamm, who had 14 points, MU also received a spark from freshman forward Marissa Thrower, who scored 10 off the bench. Janelle Hughes led Illinois with 10 points. Danyel Crutcher had 10 rebounds for the visiting Illini (16-15).
"I was extremely pleased with the intensity and passion which our players came out tonight. We had a long layoff since our loss in the BIG EAST Tournament," head coach Terri Mitchell said. "We thought we might have some rust, but I didn't see any of that tonight."
The Golden Eagles received an all-around good effort, shooting 50 percent in the first half and holding Illinois to 30.9 percent for the game.
"We've spent a week addressing pressure-man defense. Late in our conference we were playing a lot of zone. We put the zone behind us for a couple of days, trusting our teammates were there for us. Illinois picked us a part early, but we stepped it up. I thought defense was the difference for us," Mitchell said.
Behind the hot shooting of Kamm who hit her third three of the game after the halftime break, the Golden Eagles started the second half strong, extending their nine point halftime lead to 12, 39-27.
"I was excited just to come out to play. We've been at each other for more than a week now and we were all excited we had a game to play and an opponent," Kamm said."
Marquette continued to stretch the lead, taking a 45-31 advantage behind the quality looks of Thrower, who hit all four of her shots.
Down the stretch, Quaye continued Marquette's offensive dominance, building the Golden Eagles' lead to as many as 23 points.
MU's defense contributed to the victory, holding the Illini without a field goal for just over seven minutes, going on a 11-2 run in that span.
In the game's early going, Marquette jumped out to a 7-5 lead. A three pointer by Kamm sparked the Marquette run in the early going.
Illinois made a quick rally, taking a 12-9 lead on a three point goal by Lori Bjork. The lead continued to change hands throughout the first half, switching for the sixth of eight times in the first 11 minutes, when Ellis hit a three to take a 16-14 lead.
Kamm's second basket of the half gave Marquette a 20-15 lead with just over eight minutes to play in the half. The Golden Eagles extend the lead to 10, 25-15 on three by Johnson.
One minute prior to halftime, Kamm hit her second three of the half as Marquette increased its lead to 11, 30-19. Marquette to a 32-23 lead into the break. Kamm lead all scorers with 10 by halftime. Crutcher had six points off the bench for Illinois at the half.
"We just want to continue to play. We were disapointed we weren't selected for the NCAA Tournament. We could be done at any point so being able to play is a great incentive," Kamm added.
Senior guard Carolyn Kieger had five assists in the game bringing her career total to 680. She is nine assists away from the school record, set by Lori Pitroff.
Marquette will play Iowa State at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 20 in Ames, Iowa, in the second round of the WNIT. The winner of that game will face the survivor of the second round game pitting the winner of Rice/Indiana versus Indiana State.