OTTAWA —There may not be anything more frustrating for a basketball team than having one of those nights were there seems to be a lid on the hoop.
That was unfortunately the case for the Marquette girls basketball team in Wednesday night's nonconference contest against rival St. Bede here at Bader Gymnasium.
The Lady Crusaders (8-10), although getting more than two dozen attempts within close proximity of the basket, struggled to a 16 percent field-goal percentage on the night, including an icy 3 of 25 in the first half. The Lady Bruins had their own troubles finding the range in the first half, meshing just 30 percent, but then sank 13 of 25 shots in the second half to help them to the 45-27 road victory.
"I don't know, I really don't," said Marquette coach Kayli O'Flanagan when asked about her team's shooting woes. "We didn't execute our gameplan coming in the way it was drawn up. We wanted to work our high-low game quite a bit, but if that wasn't there we wanted to attack the seams, kick it out, get some ball movement to the weak side, dish it down low and — boom — layup.
"We just couldn't get it done tonight. There were times we did everything the way we wanted, but then we'd miss a wide-open shot."
St. Bede (9-10), which never trailed in the contest, led 8-2 early before Emma Thomas scored off an assist by Ellen Wheatland and offensive rebound to cut things to 8-6 after the opening period. The Lady Bruins started the second frame on an 8-0 run, beginning with Carly Eustice picking up a steal and score — part of her game-high 11 points — and ending on a layup from center Naomi Ochuba (eight points) at the 3-minute, 23-second mark. A 10-foot jumper by MA's Aubrey McCallum preceded a pair of free throws from Josie Eager, but SBA's Hannah Johnson's layup in the final seconds gave her club a 18-10 led at the intermission.
"The one thing we wanted to make sure we did was to challenge (Marquette's) shooters," said St. Bede coach Tom McGunnigal. "It was ugly early, because we were giving them too many (10 offensive rebounds) second chances. The ball was coming off the rim hard, and our hands weren't up or we were in bad rebounding position. We also committed a couple of (silly) turnovers that we are trying to get rid of. You name it, we did it in the first half.
"We came out the second half more settled, and we executed. I challenged them before they left the halftime huddle, I told them I wanted a 10-0 run right now ... they went 11-0, and that is credit to girls. It was a good win for us."
The visitors started to find their touch from the opening possession of the second half, as an Ochuba low-post hoop began that 11-point spurt just 25 seconds in. Eustice added five points, and Christine Senica and Maggie Sons two points each to push the eight-point halftime lead to 29-10 at the 2:40 mark.
Marquette, which trailed 33-14 after three, started the final stanza with a 15-footer from Hannah Cowie and two charity tosses apiece from Hettel and Wheatland (eight points, five rebounds, four blocks) to cut the disadvantage to 33-20, but the last six of Johnson's eight points helped close out the game.
"It's frustrating," O'Flanagan said. "When you ask them if they have anything left in the tank and they tell you yes, you wish they would have shown a little of that in the first half. Whatever we have, we have to give it from start to finish. I thought we really did do that for the most part tonight, but the ball just wouldn't go through the hoop for us."
At Bader Gym. Ottawa
St. Bede 45, Marquette 27
(Key: FG-FGA FT-FTA TP)
ST. BEDE (45) — Sons 3-7 1-2 8, Eustice 4-9 2-4 11, Bosnich 1-5 0-0 2, Senica 2-6 0-2 4, Ochuba 4-10 0-2 8, Brady 0-0 0-0 0, Cattani 2-4 0-0 4, Needs 0-0 0-0 0, Johnson 4-7 0-0 8, Weber 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-48 3-10 45.
MARQUETTE (27) — Martini 0-2 0-0 0, McCallum 1-6 0-0 2, Hettel 2-9 2-4 6, Cowie 1-6 2-2 4, Thomas 2-6 0-0 4, Eager 0-6 2-2 2, Wheatland 2-12 4-4 8, Ferracuti 0-0 0-0 0, Snook 0-2 1-2 1, Stanley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 8-49 11-14 27.
St. Bede (9-10) 8 10 15 12 — 45
Marquette (8-10) 6 4 4 13 — 27
3-point goals — St. Bede 2-8 (Sons 1-4, Eustice 1-3, Cattani 0-1); Marquette 0-5 (McCallum 0-1, Hettel 0-1, Cowie 0-1, Eager 0-1, Snook 0-1). Rebounds — St. Bede 31 (Eustice 5, Ochuba 5); Marquette 36 (McCallum 8, Thomas 7, Wheatland 5). Assists — St. Bede 11 (Eustice 3, Ochuba 3); Marquette 1 (Wheatland 1). Steals — St. Bede 10 (Sons 3, Bosnich 3); Marquette 5 (Snook 2). Blocks — St. Bede 1 (Eustice 1); Marquette 7 (Wheatland 4). Turnovers — St. Bede 18, Marquette 25. Total fouls (fouled out) — St. Bede 11 (none); Marquette 14 (Hettel).