Natisha Hiedeman’s hot start got the Golden Eagles rolling on Saturday afternoon as Marquette downed #18 Arizona State at the McGuire Center by a final score of 75-63. MU is now 3-0 on the season for the first time since 2013-14 and it stands to reason that they’ll be appearing on an Associated Press ballot or two when the newest rankings come out.
Hiedeman hit her first four shots of the game to boom Marquette out to a 15-9 lead when her third straight three-pointer shook the bottom of the net with 3:28 left in the first quarter. Those three triples from Hiedeman actually amounted to half of the long range shots that MU made in the entire game, but the Golden Eagles destroyed Arizona State inside all game long, connecting on 25 of their 36 two point attempts.
Arizona State struggled with shooting on the afternoon, but that didn’t mean that they were going away. Robbi Ryan put the Sun Devils in front with a jumper early in the second quarter, and the two teams traded that lead back and forth for a while. It was a fast break bucket by - surprise - Hiedeman off an excellent pass by McKayla Yentz that gave MU a halftime lead of 33-28.
Marquette spent the third quarter fending off Arizona State, with the Sun Devils cutting the lead to just two points at two different points. However, even with that push from Arizona State, the Golden Eagles actually expanded their lead by the time the 10 minute period ended. That didn’t last, though, as Ryan hit a triple to make it a one point contest with 8:21 remaining. Hiedeman answered that with a long ball of her own, and Marquette went off to the races from there. That three-pointer was the first bucket in a 20-4 run by the Golden Eagles that left them with a 70-53 lead with 2:40 left to play.
The Sun Devils did cut into that a bit as the game wore down, but Marquette was never in any real danger. Even the final score does not properly represent MU’s control of the game. Sophie Brunner scored with 14 seconds left, and while holding a 14 point lead with no shot clock, Marquette brought it across halfcourt and then settled in to burn out the rest of the game. Much like an NFL team that thinks they’re proving something by blasting across the line when the offensive team goes to a victory formation, Arizona State’s Relli Richardson pressured Danielle King into a turnover that led to a layup by Kiara Russell with four seconds left. Don’t think we didn’t notice your poor sportsmanship, Sun Devils. Y’all got beat, and it wasn’t close. Take your L and go back to the desert.
Hiedeman led all scorers with 23 points, and she was joined in double digit territory by four of her teammates. Erika Davenport went for 14 points and 10 rebounds, giving her a double-double in every game this season.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com?
Up Next: Marquette heads out on the road for the first time this season. They’ll face Oregon State on Tuesday to return last year’s game against the Beavers in the McGuire Center. MU gave OSU the business for three quarters last year before letting the game slip away when the Beavers were ranked #7 in the country. Right now, Oregon State is #24 in the country, and Marquette is hungry for another win over a ranked opponent.