With seven seconds remaining at McGrath-Phillips Arena in Chicago, Marquette trailed DePaul by just three points. They were inbounding in front of their own bench on their offensive end of the floor. The only move possible is to inbound to literally anyone outside the arc, because you need a three to tie the game.
Instead, the inbounds pass was a jump ball three feet from the rim. Erika Davenport couldn't secure the pass, DePaul swiped it away from her, and after a foul and two free throws from Jessica January, the #25 ranked Blue Demons escaped with a 91-86 victory over the Golden Eagles in the Big East opener for both squads.
It was the third loss against a ranked opponent in three tries this season, and it was the closest that Marquette has come to a victory in the three games. MU actually led 83-82 on a layup by Davenport with 1:41 left to play, but as was the story most of the night, Marquette's defense wasn't able to come up with the stops to match their offense.
That's not to say that DePaul was any great shakes on defense, either. While Marquette allowed the Blue Demons to score 1.11 points per possession, DePaul was letting MU rack it up at 1.04 points per possession. If he wasn't already undead, this game would have given Bo Ryan a seizure, as it was played at an 82 possession pace, and in the fourth quarter, it resembled more of a game that you'd see during Open Gym Day during high school P.E. with no one hurrying back on defense.
While Marquette falls to 0-1 in league play and 5-7 overall, it's not all bad news. First, Allazia Blockton continued her path of destruction, going for 24 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, and a steal. She had been named National Freshman of the Week earlier in the day by the US Basketball Writers Association, and she definitely lived up to the billing after this contest. The other big news of the game was that Erika Davenport played 31 minutes. The freshman from Clarkston, Michigan, missed the final 15 minutes of MU's win over UWM after suffering an injury. While she didn't put any weight on her right leg while being escorted off the court, she was suffering no ill effects against the Blue Demons. Davenport finished with a career best 19 points and added 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the season.
Up Next: After opening league play with preseason favorite DePaul, Marquette's conference schedule continues with the next two best contenders to the throne. The Golden Eagles will stay on the road to tangle with Seton Hall (11-1, 1-0 Big East) on Sunday, followed by St. John's (10-2, 1-0 Big East) on Tuesday.