Well, so much for that Associated Press Top 25 spot come Monday afternoon.
Marquette couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn for most of Friday night’s outing against Santa Clara, leading to a 10 point deficit for most of the second half. A wild flurry of turnovers by the Broncos and easy buckets by the Golden Eagles made it very, very interesting late, but at the horn, it was Santa Clara 65, Marquette 62.
The Golden Eagles shot just 32% in the opening half and scored just 24 points, a clear letdown from the type of high octane basketball that head coach Carolyn Kieger wants to see from her team. The good news, I guess, if you want to call it that, is that Santa Clara was actually worse in the first quarter, leaving the two teams tied at 10 after 10 minutes. The Broncos shot the ball much better in the second period, and that gave them a four point lead at the half.
Both teams took a turn for the worse in the shooting department in the third quarter, but the Broncos’ brief flurry of competence in the second frame gave them an advantage over Marquette. The Golden Eagles made just three of their 14 field goal attempts and trailed by 13 late in the period before cutting it to nine at the end. That 13 point margin reared its head again with less than 14 minutes to go....... and then all of a sudden, Santa Clara forgot how to play basketball.
That’s really the only explanation for what happened. They started putting Marquette on the free throw line, where the Golden Eagles made 10 of their 12 attempts, and a pair from Danielle King made it a six point game with nearly two minutes to play. SCU started letting Marquette trap them and then tie the ball up, which led to Marquette getting easy chances to score. Allazia Blockton sent home a layup, and then the Broncos threw the ball away underneath MU’s basket while trying to avoid MU’s trap. MU got another layup from Blockton on the ensuing inbounds, and boom, two point game, 17 seconds left.
That’s pretty much where Marquette’s luck ran out. Amani Wilborn was whistled for a foul, Kyla Martin sank a pair of freebies, McKayla Yentz drained a triple to cut it back to a one point game, but there was just two seconds left. SCU inbounded, Marquette fouled, Marie Berthold got her two free throws, and that was that.
Blockton finished with 24 points to lead all scorers in the game, and Erika Davenport recorded 15 points and 10 rebounds to continue her double-double streak to start the season. Natisha Hiedeman had been a major reason for Marquette’s consecutive wins over ranked opponents, but she was held to just two points on a pair of free throws here. The sophomore from Green Bay missed her four field goal attempts and never got a chance to continue her hot streak from behind the arc, as she went without a long range attempt.
Up Next: A very short turnaround for the Golden Eagles, as they play their second game of the Tiger Turkey Tip-Off against the hosting Pacific Tigers less than 24 hours after tipping off against Santa Clara. Pacific lost to Montana State, 72-66, in the late game last night, so it’s an even quicker turnaround for the now 1-3 Tigers.