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Ms. Reliable: Flint guard tops NCAA women’s basketball in free-throw shooting

FLINT, MI — Marquette senior Arlesia Morse said she shoots 100 free throws a week in practice.

Whatever she is doing, it’s working.

Morse’s name is at the top of the list among NCAA Division I women, with a 93.3 shooting clip from the free-throw line.

College basketball’s most accurate free-throw shooter has connected on 111 of her 119 attempts. That included a streak of 51 straight, during which she threatened the all-time record of 60 in a row.

“We have to shoot 100 free throws a week, and it’s just something I focus on,” Morse said. “I just get to the line, I focus and free throws win games.

“I don’t really pay any mind to it. I know I’m a good free-throw shooter.”

Morse is more than just a solid free-throw shooter, though. She has emerged as Marquette’s team leader as the end of her college career nears.

Flint Hamady High School’s all-time leading scorer was named to the Big East weekly honor roll Monday, Feb. 16, a day after helping the Golden Eagles stun heavily-favored Seton Hall, 73-70, on Senior Day. Morse scored a game-high 22 points, knocking down 13 of her 14 free-throw attempts, and had seven rebounds.

“I’m just evolving,” Morse said. “I know this is my last go-around, and I just feel like I’ve gotten better.”

There have been ups and downs for Morse in her last season — the team is 7-19 on the season — but she insists her main focus is to improve as a team. After Sunday’s victory, Morse sits in 10th place on the Golden Eagles’ all-time leading scorers list with 1,505 career points. She averages a team-high 14.8 points and 6.0 rebounds.

“I just want to leave my mark the best way I can,” Morse said. “I know our record doesn’t show, but we’re a really good team. We play well together, we click on all cylinders.

“I just want to go out with a bang, doing what I do.”

Marquette (7-19, 3-12 Big East) has struggled to adapt to a new coach and young roster, but with three games remaining on the regular-season schedule before the Big East Tournament starts, Morse doesn’t have a problem carrying the load.

The Golden Eagles will return to action for three straight road games, starting at Providence on Friday, Feb. 20, then at Creighton on Sunday, Feb. 22, and DePaul on March. 1.

Reaching any level of professional basketball is Morse’s goal after school but if that doesn’t work out, the 21-year-old said she will look to put her broadcast and electronic communications degree to use as a future coach.

Finishing the season strong is her top priority at this point, though. Everything else off the court can wait.

“At the end of the day it starts with me,” Morse said. “If I don’t come out and be aggressive and keep the team in line, there’s no telling what will happen. So at the end of the day it takes my leadership, and if I’m not a leader out there, then I know we can’t be successful.”


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