After 10 minutes in the desert on Saturday evening, Marquette trailed #21 Arizona State by 12 points, 25-13. After that point, the lead was only lower than 12 points twice in the second quarter and never at all in the third quarter. Marquette dipped that lead into the single digits in the last five minutes of the game, but by then, there just wasn't enough time to punch through on a ranked Pac 12 team. Arizona State ended up taking the 90-80 win by the time the final horn sounded.
For a lot of the game, it seemed like the Sun Devils and the Golden Eagles were just playing each other even once ASU had taken the lead. It never really felt like Arizona State was pounding on Marquette. What they did was just get two, maybe three buckets in a row before Marquette would answer. A 12 point lead would become 17 or 18, and then MU would knock it back to 16, maybe 14. Never running away with the game, never making Marquette look bad, but just slowly but surely pulling away with it.
The game may have ultimately been decided in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter. Marquette had busted the ASU lead from 21 down to 16 at the end of the third and then held the Sun Devils scoreless for the first 3:03 of the final frame and without a field goal for the first 4:10. The problem was that Marquette scored just five points in that stretch. Had they managed another basket or two, maybe push that lead down to just seven or maybe six? Might have been a sight to see coming down the wire. Instead, ASU's first field goal of the fourth quarter pushed the lead back to 12 points and MU was left with just six minutes to play with.
It was the second time this season that Marquette came up short against a ranked Pac 12 team in an attempt to win a third consecutive game. With the loss, Marquette falls to 4-6 on the season, and second year head coach Carolyn Kieger still hasn't won three straight games yet.
Allazia Blockton's Freshman of the Year campaign continued as the Milwaukee native posted 22 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists. She also had four turnovers to tie for the team high, but let's try to ignore that in favor of the more positive aspects here. Erika Davenport continued her strong play off the bench for MU, getting 18 points and 10 rebounds. McKayla Yentz went 3-7 from long range to propel herself to 11 points in the game, and Natisha Hiedeman contributed 12 points, too. Four Sun Devils scored in double digits, led by 17 points from Arnecia Hawkins.
Up Next: The five game road trip continues, although the Golden Eagles will be back in Milwaukee until after Christmas. How does that work? Well, the next game is a "road" game, as MU heads across town to take on UWM at the Klotsche Center on Tuesday night. Tip off against the 4-4 Panthers is at 7pm.