Marquette’s home winning streak that began four Januarys ago stretched to 33 games Thursday night at the Scholl Center, but not before hairs turned grey and pulses spiked. The Lady Blazers staved off a late North Judson rally to collect a 45-43 victory to improve to 16-1.
Marquette played catch-up for the majority of the first half. Sophia Nolan kept the Lady Blazers in the contest with eight first-quarter points. Emma Nolan took the baton in the second period, erupting for seven while Emmery Joseph hit a three-pointer to give Marquette its first lead with 1:31 to play in the opening half.
The Lady Blazers outscored the Lady Jays 14-8 in the second to commandeer a 28-23 halftime lead. Sophia (12) and Emma (10) Nolan were both in double figures by the break.
After yielding 15 points in the first quarter, Marquette’s defense didn’t surrender another 15 points until midway through the fourth frame. It led by as many as 11 points in the fourth, but North Judson hit three treys down the stretch to stage a late comeback attempt.
North Judson went from trailing by eight at the 1:40 mark, to four with 49 seconds remaining. The Lady Blue Jays’ final trey made it a two-point game with 5.4 seconds to play. After the inbounds pass and a North Judson foul, Marquette went to the line with 0.2 seconds on the clock.
Marquette, which shot 5-for-7 from the free-throw line in the first three quarters, converted on just one of its six foul shots in the final quarter.
Junior Ally McConnell scored four of her six points in the fourth quarter to secure the victory for the Lady Blazers. Sophia Nolan led all scorers with 18 points with Emma Nolan adding 12.
The Lady Blazers (16-1) cross the state line Saturday to face Chicago Simeon (13-7) at Kenwood Academy in the Windy City. The Lady Wolverines boast the 22nd ranking in the state of Illinois.