Notre Dame Women B-ball team leaves bad taste in mouths of Lady Golden Eagles
by Troy A. Sparks
The Marquette women’s basketball team sat at their opponents’ table in non-conference play and had well-balanced meals along with some favorable desserts. They already ate chopped liver early last month when UConn beat them by 32 points.
The Golden Eagles had some impressive victories over three Big Ten teams in Michigan and Illinois at home and Wisconsin on the road. Throw in a win over UW-Green Bay, who was ranked 23rd in the country, and you can say that the Golden Eagles ate pretty well.
No. 13 Notre Dame came to the Al McGuire Center, Jan. 5, to personally serve Marquette another serving of chopped liver. And for a while, the home team ate it before spitting it out.
The Fighting Irish was asleep the first four minutes of the game, and then they finally woke up. After they caught up and tied the game at 16-16, the visitors shifted into high gear and never trailed again.
Notre Dame led by as many as 18 points late in the half at 40-22 and slowed down while Marquette closed out the half on a 9-0 run to cut the Irish lead to 40-31.
The combination of offensive rebounds by the Irish and a lack of defense and missed shots by the Golden Eagles made a difference in the second half.
“Once we cut the lead at the end of the first half, we started getting stops on defense,” Angel Robinson said. “Our team (knew) that once we (stopped playing) defense, our offense wasn’t flowing. That’s how they kept taking the lead on us.”
Marquette shot 44% in the first half and couldn’t hit the side of the barn in the second, making only 8 of 31 shots for 26%. They had more than half of their 35 total rebounds (18) on offense but couldn’t put the ball in the basket.
“It was certainly a wake-up call to life in the Big East,” coach Terri Mitchell said. “We were not scoring. So if you’re not scoring, you really have to buckle down on defense.”
If Marquette’s 73-55 loss to Notre Dame served notice that they were entering the meat and potatoes of the Big East schedule, wait until the end of January when they are forced-fed liver again. The Golden Eagles already were blown out by two conference teams ranked in the Top-25 with Georgetown and West Virginia on tap.
“Our first four games were those two (UConn and Notre Dame) plus Georgetown and West Virginia,” Mitchell said. “We are going to get baptized by fire in our first four games. I told our team that we can’t hang our heads. We got to quickly get over this, take accountability in what we did wrong and move on to the next game.”
For a team like Marquette, they’re used to the physical contact in the league. When the opponent is shoving, the Golden Eagles should shove back. They will show that they’re not backing down. “We just didn’t fight back (in Notre Dame game),” Robinson said. “We just got backed down. We just got to get better.”
No Mercy for Bucks in January
This month is bad for the Bucks. In addition to playing Miami twice and Orlando, they will play against four teams who made the playoffs last season. With a patchwork roster and guard Brandon Jennings, forwards Drew Gooden and Carols Delfino still out of action, the bulk of the load fall on the shoulders of center Andrew Bogut and guard Earl Boykins. Forward Chris Douglas-Roberts also contributes off the bench.
“We’re searching for lineups right now that can get something going for us and get something going consistently,” Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles said.
Here’s what the Bucks are missing: Another true point guard to back up Jennings. They should’ve re-signed Luke Ridnour. There are 14 players on the roster. All 10 available players got at least three minutes in the Miami game. Corey Maggette is probably upset because his minutes are inconsistent. He didn’t sign a contract to sit the bench.
The Heat made their second and last visit of the season to the Bradley Center with the Big Three who are treated like rock stars. They get favorable calls, and they swear that they don’t commit fouls. Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh strolled into the BC, Jan. 7, and left with a hard-fought 101-95 overtime win before 18,717 fans. They meet again Apr. 6.
“We knew it was going to be a tough battle, especially on their home court,” James said.
The game was tight in the second half. It was frustrating for Wade and okay for James, who had 26 points. Milwaukee rookie Larry Sanders had a rebound ripped from James, who went over Sanders’ back but nothing was called. James drew a foul from Sanders and made free-throws to end the first quarter. Wade drew a flagrant foul on the Bucks’ Jon Brockman, which was ruled a technical foul. Apparently, Wade felt he got unruly treatment on his second home court, the BC, where he was a star for Marquette.
Wade had four fouls in the game, including a technical in the fourth quarter when he yelled at referee Nick Buchert after he thought he was fouled at the basket. Wade kneed Douglas-Roberts for one foul, bumped Brockman for a foul and hacked CDR for another foul. It must have been a bad night for Wade with 14 points, 11 below his average of 25, the stress behind his divorce situation and dealing with Gabrielle Union.
Bosh doesn’t always get the attention like James and Wade. He’s that nerdy guy in college you let hang around your buddies because he’s the only one in the group who has a car, and you only use him when you want to be chaffered.
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