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Women's Basketball: Marquette Downs Shorthanded Butler, 80-64

Gotta grab your wins where you can find them.

Amani Wilborn had six points, eight rebounds, six assists, and three steals against Butler.
Amani Wilborn had six points, eight rebounds, six assists, and three steals against Butler.
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Allazia Blockton scored 17 of her 18 points after halftime as Marquette ran away from Butler on Sunday afternoon, winning by a final score of 80-64.

Butler was shorthanded on the day, missing Tori Schickel, the Big East's leading rebounder, who wasn't even in the building due to illness, along with regular starter Michelle Weaver, who's currently hobbling about Indianapolis in a walking boot.  Given that the Golden Eagles were 1-5 in Big East play coming into the game, it was crucial that they find a way to put the boots to the shorthanded Bulldogs.  That was definitely the case as MU outscored Butler in all four quarters of the game.

It was a slow roll for most of the game, though, as MU led by just one point after the first 10 minutes, and just five points at halftime.  Part of that slow going in the first half is largely due to Butler putting the clamps down on Blockton, who leads Marquette in points and rebounds this season.  She played just 13 minutes in the first half due to picking up two fouls and was sitting on just one point and one rebound at the break.

Blockton lit it up after the break, hitting six of her seven shots from the field and five of her six free throws.  She grabbed four more rebounds, too, and added an assist and a steal to Marquette's effort as they pulled away from Butler.  While Marquette had doubled their lead at the end of the third quarter, it was actually closer than it should have been.  Butler scored seven straight points, but a buzzer beater from Erika Davenport kept the MU lead at 10 heading to the fourth.  Marquette opened up the final frame on a 14-5 run to put the game away for good, with four different players contributing to the run.

While the end result was an extremely positive one for Marquette as they got their second Big East win of the season, the process wasn't all great.  Butler had a bad shooting day, finishing with an effective field goal percentage of just 40.7%.  However, the Bulldogs grabbed 22 offensive rebounds off of all of those misses, finishing with an offensive rebounding rate of just under 49%.  Brittany Ward did the most damage for Butler, grabbing 11 of her 17 rebounds off the offensive glass.  At least the Golden Eagles forced Butler to turn it over more than 30% of the time to balance that out, right?

Blockton's 18 points led the way for Marquette, while Amani Wilborn wrapped up eight rebounds to lead MU in that department, although five different players grabbed at least five rebounds.  Wilborn had six assists, too, matching Natisha Hiedeman for the game high.  Sydney Buck had a game high 21 points for Butler, although Ward's 18 points and 17 rebound performance probably gets the gold star for the game from the Bulldog faithful.

Up Next: The Golden Eagles return home for the next four games as they begin to make the turn into the second half of the conference schedule.  They'll wrap up the first nine games with a home game against Providence (4-13, 0-7 Big East) on FS1 on Friday, followed by hosting Creighton (10-9, 4-3) on Sunday.