Natisha Hiedeman recorded the second triple-double in Marquette women’s basketball history on Friday night, as the Golden Eagles defeated Western Illinois, 77-61.
Hiedeman posted 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting from behind the three point line, a remarkable 18 rebounds, and 10 assists. Statistically speaking, it’s the best triple-double of the pair in program history, as Angel Robinson recorded a 10/10/10 against Oakland in November of 2009. Hiedeman had to wait the longest to get the assist, finding freshman Isabelle Spingola for a transition layup with just 23 seconds remaining in the game.
Head coach Carolyn Kieger had long since taken her foot off the gas, removing all of MU’s regulars from the game except for Hiedeman with six minutes to play and the Golden Eagles leading by 15. With Hiedeman struggling to find open teammates for a few minutes, Kieger subbed Allazia Blockton back into the game for a few minutes and even called a pair of timeouts to draw something up to get Hiedeman her final helper. Ultimately, it came down to Marquette doing what they do best: gaining possession of the ball and then flying down the court in transition. Once Spingola realized that Meghan Mandel had blocked Sam Pryor’s shot and Hiedeman had come up with the ball, she took off, heads up and ready for Hiedeman to dish to her.
Let’s be clear: This wasn’t a particularly great game to watch. Marquette shot just 43% from the field in the game, and with eight made three-pointers, their eFG% for the game was just 49%. At least the Golden Eagles’ defense was strong, holding Western Illinois to just 30% shooting overall and 21% on 43 (!) attempts from long range. That stellar defense kind of led to the lack of entertainment value of the game, though. Let me put it another way: it took three and a half minutes for either team to even record one basket, and Marquette was pitching a shutout until the 3:39 mark of the first quarter.
Marquette took their first double digit lead of the game early in the second quarter when Danielle King drained a three-pointer to make it a 23-13 game. MU’s lead wouldn’t stay in the 10+ point range until early in the third quarter. Olivia Kaufmann got a transition layup on the break to cut Marquette’s lead to just eight with 7:52 remaining, but after Kaufmann missed the free throw off the foul she received on that layup, Amani Wilborn answered in transition on the other end. MU forced a turnover on WIU’s next possession, Hiedeman hit one of her three-pointers, and the lead was never smaller than 11 the rest of the way.
Blockton led Marquette with 15 points, and she chipped in four rebounds, two assists, a block, and a steal as well. Erika Davenport is no longer averaging a double-double this season after recording “just” six points and nine rebounds against WIU, dropping her season averages to “only” 14.4 points and 9.9 rebounds. Western Illinois’ Morgan Blumer led all scorers with 19 points, largely because she was the Leathernecks’ most prolific and accurate long range shooter, going 4-of-12 from three point land.
How about some full game highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com?
Up Next: The Golden Eagles are off until Tuesday, when they get another solid test of their abilities. Wisconsin-Green Bay comes into the McGuire Center, and the Phoenix are right alongside Marquette in the Receiving Votes category in the Associated Press poll. UWGB is picked to win the Horizon League again this season, just like they have been for the past eight seasons. They’re 5-1 this season, with only a four point loss at #1 Notre Dame tarnishing their record.