Golden Eagles Outlast the Owls, 78-62
Dec. 3, 2006
HOUSTON, Texas - Led by sophomore Krystal Ellis who scored a season high 26 points, the Marquette women's basketball team defeated Rice, 78-62, Sunday afternoon at Autry Court. With the win, the Golden Eagles extend their win streak to six games and improve to 7-1 overall, while the Owls fall to 5-3 on the season.
"It is always difficult to win on the road, especially against a team that just beat the 10th ranked team in the nation on Friday. But we showed a lot of composure and maturity, and didn't settle even after jumping out to an early lead," said head coach Terri Mitchell who is now two wins shy of her 200th victory. "I am really proud of our players for the extra effort they are putting forth to win games."
Ellis led all scorers with 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting, including 3-of-4 from three-point range and making all five attempts from the charity stripe. Ellis also added a career best six steals in 27 minutes of action. Seniors Christina Quaye and Jasmine McCullough followed each with 10 points. For the game Marquette shot 47.5 percent from the floor, connecting on 28-of-59 attempts. The Golden Eagles dominated on the boards for the sixth straight game, 43-39, led by senior Danielle Kamm with nine. Seven of Kamm's nine boards came in the first half.
"All-around Krystal put forth an outstanding effort today. She really set the tone for the game. Her six steals came at such critical times. We also had a great inside-outside game from Christina Quaye and Jasmine. The best thing about this team is how mature they are each time they step on the court. It is so much fun to coach these women who play with incredible energy and passion each game," added Mitchell.
For the game, Rice was held to making just 29.4 percent of its attempts from the field for the game. Lauren Neaves led the Owls with a double double registering 21 points and 14 boards. Krystal Frazier and Valerie Berezhynska scored in double figures with 10 and 11 points, respectively. Marquette forced 19 Rice turnovers and generated 23 points off the Owls' miscues.
After trading buckets in the early stages of the game, Ellis nailed a three-pointer that sparked a Marquette 10-0 run helping the Golden Eagles to jump ahead 19-10, midway through the first half. MU scored seven more unanswered points to push its lead to 14 points, (26-12) with 8:47 remaining in the first.
Marquette kept the Owls at bay in the first never letting them come closer than seven points as the Golden Eagles took a 14 point lead, 44-30, into the locker room at the half.
In the first, Ellis led Marquette with 20 first half points as the sophomore was perfect from the field connecting on all eight of her attempts including three from long range. Collectively, Marquette shot 55 percent in the first half on 18-of-33 shooting, while holding Rice to just 28 percent for the first half. The Golden Eagles forced nine Rice turnovers in the first half and capitalized scoring nine points off those turnovers.
After the intermission, two mini runs, 8-0 and 6-1, over six minutes in the second half helped MU to take a commanding 20-point lead with 14:16 remaining in the game, and then pushed it to 24 points with 6:46 left to play.
Rice didn't back down and mounted an 16-2 run to come within 10 points, 70-60, with just over three minutes remaining in the game, but that would be the closest the Owls would come. Marquette sealed 78-62 win converting eight free throws by Ellis and sophomore Erin Monfre over the final minutes of the game.
Marquette will be back in action on Wednesday, Dec. 6 to open BIG EAST play. The Golden Eagles will host West Virginia at 7 p.m., at the Al McGuire Center.
" We know there are always things to improve on and everything we are doing right now is to get ready for BIG EAST play, which we thing is the best conference in the nation. We play a tough West Virginia team and will be ready to play Wednesday."
Fans, Wednesday is dollar day! All tickets, hotdogs, soda and candy are just $1.