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Marquette Women's Basketball Preview: at South Dakota

It seems like only yesterday that the Golden Eagles slipped to 0-3.....

Turns out, it was actually TWO days ago.

On Saturday afternoon, Marquette was in the Cincinnati suburbs, which as it turns out, extends into northern Kentucky.  Northern Kentucky was also the name of the opponent, and they had a 17 point lead on your Golden Eagles midway through the third period.  That was wiped out late in the fourth quarter when Marquette briefly took a lead on a Natisha Hiedeman three pointer, but that lead evaporated in the final seconds.  That left MU with three straight losses to open the second season of the Carolyn Kieger era.

They seem to be getting closer to gelling as a team.  That's what we have to ask for at this point in the season: forming a cohesive unit.  People have to hammer out roles on the floor and off the bench, too.  The players are still figuring each other out to a certain extent, and Kieger and her coaching staff are still figuring out how the pieces fit together.  That's what happens with eight freshmen and just two returning players.

The one thing that we do know right now is that Allazia Blockton is turning into a force to be reckoned with in blue and gold, and Hiedeman isn't that far behind her, either.  If Olivia Moskari (3-7 on threes vs NKU) has gotten her shooting woes out of the way after going 0-8 in her first two games, then we're looking at three pieces neatly ironed out: lead scorer, creator, shooter.  Start filling in the spaces around them, and wins will start to appear.

Game #4: at South Dakota (0-3)

When: Monday, November 22, 2015, at 7pm Central
Where: The DakotaDome in Vermillion, SD
Audio/Visual: has the video stream, the audio stream, AND the live stats.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWBB

While the Coyotes are 0-3 on the season, tonight's contest will be their home opener.  Two of their games have been close contests, dropping a 66-59 decision to Utah, and then, after getting blowed out by Northern Iowa by 21, USD got squeaked by Kansas State four days ago, losing 84-81.

I would argue that USD's website needs to find some better ways to note wins and losses, because it wasn't until I clicked on the KSU result to find out how they lost that I discovered that they fell in overtime.  That was a wild one, though, with KSU taking an 11 point lead in the second quarter before trailing by seven at halftime.  That seven became nine on the first bucket of the third quarter, but the first basket of the fourth quarter gave Kansas State a 10 point lead.  Obviously the Yotes rallied from that, but it was six free throws in the final 16 seconds of OT that send South Dakota to their third straight loss.

I'm guessing that they won't be pleased about that.

South Dakota has three players scoring in double digits on average this season, led by Nicole Seekamp.  Now, that's slightly misleading, because Seekamp only played in the Kansas State game.  With that said, she was the one scoring the buckets that led to the fouls and the FTs as time wound down.  Seekamp also barely missed a triple-double in that game, finishing with eight rebounds and 10 assists, so we'd be wrong to discount her game as a one-off.  USD's top three scorers are also their three biggest distance chuckers, with Caitlin Duffy leading the way.  28 of Duffy's 36 shot attempts this season have been from behind the three point line, and she's draining 39% of them.

Seekamp continues to throw all the stats off with just her one appearance, as she's technically leading the Coyotes in rebounding and assists.  Of people who played all three games, Duffy leads in rebounding at 5.7 per contest, while Tia Hemiller is tops in assists at three per outing.