Simmons and Minix Lead Marquette Past Badgers, 54-52
Nov. 15, 2011
MILWAUKEE - Fueled by a career-high 23 points from Sarina Simmons and the steady guard play of sophomore Gabi Minix down the stretch, the Marquette University women's basketball team defeated in-state rival Wisconsin, 54-52, Tuesday evening at the Al McGuire Center.
The Golden Eagles improve to 2-0 on the season and received nine points from both sophomore forward Katherine Plouffe and freshman guard Arlesia Morse, in addition to Simmons' 23. Minix added seven points and six assists while turning the ball over only once.
Marquette shot 35.2 percent from the floor and outscored the Badgers 26-18 in the paint.
The Badgers (1-2) shot just 31.4 percent (16-of-51) from the field and committed 19 turnovers as sophomore guard Morgan Paige led Wisconsin with 16 points. Paige's backcourt-mate Taylor Wurtz added 14 and senior forward Anya Covington recorded her fourth career double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Marquette trailed 49-46 with 2:37 remaining before mounting a comeback for a thrilling final two minutes.
A pair of Plouffe free throws with 1:45 left in the game gave MU its first lead, 50-49, since late in the first half. Simmons scored MU's final four points on a runner in the lane with 46 seconds remaining and two free throws with five seconds left on the clock to seal the win.
Simmons scored six of MU's first eight points to start the game but was held scoreless until she opened Marquette's scoring in the second with a layup.
Morse led the Golden Eagles in the first half with seven points, while freshman center Chelsea Bulter provided a spark off the bench with four points, four rebounds and a pair of blocks.
MU led by as many as nine points midway through the first half before Wisconsin rallied to tie the game at the half, 23-23.
Ashley Thomas, the sister of current Golden Eagle Courtney Thomas, started at forward for the Badgers but did not score.
The Golden Eagles return to action Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Bradley Center against Georgia Tech at 1 p.m. The game can be seen locally on Sports32 with Kareeda Chones-Aguam and Michelle Griffin-Wenzel on the call.