MILWAUKEE, Wis. - An experienced Marquette team stayed just ahead of the Butler women's basketball team to beat the Bulldogs 73-62 on Saturday night. It was the season opener for both teams.
Butler, with just two juniors among its nine healthy and eligible players, were led by two players making their Bulldog debuts. Transfers Taylor Schippers and Daress McClung led the Bulldogs. Schippers had 20 points while McClung finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Junior Mandy McDivitt added 10 points and sophomore Hannah Douglas had nine. Only the five starters scored for Butler. Bench points were 24-0 in favor of the home-standing Golden Eagles, who returned all five starters from last season.
Marquette's speed and size caused problems early, as a 3-point play by Plouffe put the Golden Eagles ahead 16-5. McClung, McDivitt and Schippers did the majority of the scoring and kept the Bulldogs within striking distance. Even after a trey and two foul shots by MU's Katie Young made it 24-12, the Bulldogs grinded and stayed close. Trailing 35-22 with 2:25 left, the Bulldogs got a 7-2 run to make it 37-29 at halftime.
Marquette was effective in transition and shot 5-for-9 from 3-point range in the second half to pull away. A 3-pointer by Gabi Minix put the Golden Eagles ahead 69-51. Butler would score in spurts, but wouldn't get any closer than 56-44 down the stretch.
MU was led by Arlesia Morse with 16 points. Nine Marquette players played, and all nine scored. The Golden Eagles finished 8-for-17 from deep and seemed to make key shots any time Butler built some momentum.
Butler will play at Ball State Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. ET. The team's home opener is Saturday, Nov. 17 vs. Fairfield.