ncaa second-round preview: Marquette
By Mike Gilpatrick
March 17th, 2018
March 17th, 2018
Yesterday, the Louisville Cardinals came one step closer to the Final Four. Tomorrow, they hope to take another step, and advance to the Sweet 16. Their Round of 32 matchup is tomorrow at Noon, at the KFC Yum! Center.
Tomorrow’s opponent is better than yesterday’s. The Marquette Golden Eagles played well against ranked teams. They brought No. 12 Tennessee to overtime and lost close-games against Michigan and Notre Dame. Yesterday, they had a 19-point victory over the ninth-seed Dayton Flyers.
In yesterday’s game, Four of Marquette’s starting five were in double-digits, including an Asia Durr-esque 32-point performance from Natisha Hiedeman. At one point, the guard had 18 of Marquette’s 22 points.
Hiedeman isn’t even Marquette’s top season scorer. That title belongs to Allazia Blockton. The 6-0 guard from Milwaukee is averaging 18.6 points and is shooting 51.4 percent from the field. She’s also Marquette’s second-highest rebounder.
All five of Marquette’s starters are averaging in the double-digits. After that, production drops off heavily. Danielle King, MU’s No. 5 scorer, is averaging 11.5 points, while Lauren Van Kleunen, their No. 6 scorer, only averages 4.8. Their bench performance drops off heavily from there. In fact, Marquette’s bench only scored two points in the first round, in 33 total minutes played.
Marquette also doesn’t pass the ball around. They scored 2655 total points and had just 527 assists. They had 15 yesterday.
Tomorrow, expect Marquette to have a strong outside game. Louisville has a height advantage for four of five starters. The Cardinals could use their height advantage to lock down the inside and force the Eagles to shoot. The Cards should be stronger off the glass and pick up most of offensive and defensive boards.
If Louisville does this, it may wear down Carolyn Kieger’s starting five, and force their bench to play quality minutes. Then, Louisville will have the clear advantage. The Cardinals have more depth than Marquette. They can handle an off-night from Asia Durr or Myisha Hines-Allen. It would be catastrophic for Marquette if Blockton or Hiedeman went down.
This will be a closer game, but Jeff Walz will find plenty of playing time for his bench. There will be many times Louisville will go on an extended run. The Eagles will fall behind.
Final Score: Louisville 86, Marquette 68