Women's Basketball Tops Western Illinois 65-57

Ojulu tied a career-high with 14 rebounds
Dec. 21, 2014

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MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University women's basketball team (4-7, 0-0 BIG EAST) used a 13-0 second half run to knock off Western Illinois 65-57 Sunday afternoon at the Al McGuire Center.

Arlesia Morse finished tied for a game-high with 17 points to lead Marquette's second half comeback. The senior was perfect from the free-throw line (8-of-8), including hitting six in the second half to preserve the Golden Eagles' lead.

Western Illinois used two three-pointers to begin the second half on an 8-5 run. Leading by as much as five early on in the second stanza, WIU was called for a technical foul that allowed MU to cut its deficit to three. Minutes later Michelle Farrow hit her third three of the game to extend their lead to 44-39 at the 13:02 mark.

MU continued to battle back from deficit using its press to force turnovers. Although the Leathernecks coughed it up five times within the first 10 minutes of the second-half, Marquette had five turnovers of its own.

Overall, Western Illinois committed 21 turnovers and Marquette scored 19 points off those mistakes.

Down 48-43 with 10 minutes to play, MU started a 13-0 run behind a Christina Bigica pull-up jumper and a transition three after Apiew Ojulu pulled down her 11th board of the game and fed the open Bigcica. After an Elbert coast-to-coast layup, Bigica converted two free throws and a layup two minutes later to give MU a 56-48 lead at the 5:40 mark, its largest of the game.

Bigica finished with a season-high 13 points, seven of which came in a span of 1:16.

With 40 seconds to play, Kenisha Bell had her fourth steal of the game and converted the lay-up to put Marquette ahead 62-53, which sealed the victory.

Western Illinois made just four field goals in the final 9:45 of the contest and turned the ball over four times during the same span. Three of the field goals came from Sophie Reichelt who scored seven of her 10 points in the second-half.

Ashley Luke hit her first three shots from the field as the Leathernecks jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead. A Bell steal allowed Tia Elbert to hit consecutive pull-up jumpers to even the score at 8-8.

Luke hit four more first half layups, including a buzzer beater that gave WIU a 32-31 halftime lead. After scoring 14 first half points, Luke was limited to just three in the second 20 minutes. She finished with 17, tied for the game high.

Western Illinois guards were able to penetrate the lane and kick out to shooters throughout the first half and connected on 4-of-10 attempts. However, the Leathernecks attempted 29 three's overall and converted eight, a mark of 27.6 percent.

Despite only hitting one three in the first frame, Marquette was able to keep pace by forcing 10 first-half turnovers. Six first half steals tied a season-high, while four blocks surpassed the high for an opening frame.

Seven players scored for MU in the first half and the offense was led by Morse and Elbert who had nine and eight respectively. Ojulu also pulled down seven first-half rebounds, including two offensive.

Ojulu finished with a season-high 14 rebounds, which ties her career high.

Against Vanderbilt, the Golden Eagles assisted on 66 percent of their field goals, today they assisted on just 26 percent.

With non-conference play concluded, Marquette beings its BIG EAST slate when Xavier travels to Milwaukee on Dec. 30 for a 7 p.m. Central time matchup at the Al McGuire Center.




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