Marquette fell to 0-3 to open Big East play this season after Aaliyah Lewis went bananas for St. John's in overtime, scoring nine of her 11 points in the extra session in the game to lead the Red Storm to an 81-77 victory.
If you're looking at MU going 5-2 in their last seven heading into conference play and then taking three straight L's to open that up and saying "hey, what the hell is going on", I've got two things for you to keep an eye on. Item #1: Marquette's two losses in those seven were both to ranked opponents, and all three of Marquette's first three Big East opponents were either ranked at the time or have been ranked at some point this season. Item #2: Those three teams - DePaul, Seton Hall, and St. John's - are a combined 9-2 in league play right now, and are likely to stay atop the standings for the rest of the season.
This one was a wild one. How else can you describe Marquette carrying around a four point lead in the first quarter, but then trailing by 12 at halftime? How else can you describe Marquette hitting eight of their first 10 shots of the second half to take a 46-44 lead? The remaining 15:21 of regulation featured six lead changes and six ties, including the one created with 50 seconds left when Allazia Blockton knocked home two of her team high 25 points to knot the game at 69 each and end the scoring in regulation.
Even with Lewis going nuts in overtime after going just 1-8 in the first 40 minutes, Marquette was gifted a last chance to pull out the win when Danaejah Grant turned it over after Blockton had cut the lead to just two on a jumper in the paint. The Golden Eagles had 10 seconds to work with, and it ended up with a missed three pointer by Natisha Hiedeman that could have ended up as the game winner, but alas, it didn't connect.
Blockton added a career best 13 rebounds, plus six assists, a block, and three steals. She also committed eight of Marquette's 22 turnovers, so it wasn't all seashells and balloons for the Big East Freshman of the Year candidate. Amani Wilborn was right behind Blockton with seven giveaways, so that'll give head coach Carolyn Kieger something to drill on during practice over the next two days.
Up Next: Home opener time! In fact, it'll be the first time that Marquette has taken the court at the Al McGuire Center since clipping Auburn in overtime back on December 13th. The Golden Eagles host Villanova (8-6, 2-2 Big East) on Friday night, followed by welcoming in Georgetown (9-5, 2-2 Big East) on Sunday afternoon. The game against the Wildcats will be on the Big East Digital Network, while you can see MU take on the Hoyas on FS2.