Powered by double digit scoring from four players and a near miss on a fifth, Marquette women's basketball outlasted St. John's on Friday night, picking up their fifth win in league play by a final score of 67-64. The win allows the Golden Eagles to exorcize the demons of an overtime loss to the Red Storm earlier this season and snaps a three game losing streak to the Johnnies. It's the fourth straight win for Marquette, the longest ever under head coach Carolyn Kieger and the longest since MU snagged a win at Butler to open league play in 2013-14 for their fourth straight win.
If you didn't make it down to the Al McGuire Center for the game or catch it on the Big East Digital Network, you missed one hell of a contest. We had 12 ties, five in the fourth quarter, and nine lead changes, with four of those coming in the final frame. The biggest lead of the game was six points, which was held by St. John's at the 8:57 mark of the second quarter. Marquette's biggest lead of the game was four points, which they had several times, with the final one coming just a shade after halftime.
While it was a bit thrilling to watch these two teams duel for forty minutes, it might not have been the most aesthetically pleasing brand of hoops. The two teams combined to shoot just a bit under 41%, and we saw 32 turnovers, 16 apiece.
Marquette led by one at the conclusion of the third quarter, but it was St. John's that was in control early in the final period. The Red Storm took a three point lead on a layup from Danaejah Grant with 8:45 remaining, and then again later, when Grant hit a jumper with 4:59 to play. Marquette showed no fear as they trailed, though, and Amani Wilborn converted an and-1 to knot it up at 56 with just over four to play. Allazia Blockton turned the advantage in favor of Marquette on the next trip down the court, but St. John's answered. The two squads played call and answer for a while, and after Blockton split a pair of freebies with 1:05 remaining, Jade Walker hit a jumper to put SJU back out in front.
It was a short lived lead, though, as Natisha Hiedeman went straight to the rim nine seconds later to put Marquette out in front for good. Aliyyah Handford missed a layup on the ensuing possession, which led to a pair of free throws for Blockton as Grant fouled out. St. John's had one final chance to tie it up and force an extra session the way Marquette did in the first meeting this season between the squads, but Jade Walker either never had it cleanly or had her last second chance poked away by Erika Davenport (you decide), and Marquette scored the W.
The Golden Eagles were led on the night by 15 points from Allazia Blockton in a foul-shortened 30 minutes. While she chipped in five rebounds, five assists, and three steals, she finishes the night at 395 points on the season, four away from tying Angel Robinson for the highest point total by a freshman in Marquette women's hoops history, and five away from becoming the first freshman to score 400 points for WBB. Blockton might not have had the best performance of the night for Marquette, as Natisha Hiedeman posted 14 points, nine rebounds, an assist, and a steal. Erika Davenport (14 points) and Amani Wilborn (10 points) round out the double digit scorers for the Golden Eagles.
Danaejah Grant had a game high 19 points in the losing effort.
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Up Next: Marquette looks for their first five game winning streak since the 2010-11 season when they host Seton Hall on Sunday afternoon. It almost seems like a guarantee that Allazia Blockton will be the best scoring freshman in MU history when that game concludes. The Pirates (17-4, 7-3 Big East) are coming off of an 83-74 victory over DePaul on Friday night and have won four straight, just like Marquette.