Marquette threw away a chance to be ranked in the top 25 when they lost to Santa Clara during Pacific’s Thanksgiving weekend event. That’s the only loss of the season for the Golden Eagles, and after not really suffering as a result of it last week in the AP poll, Marquette took a tumble this week. They’re down to just 15 points after 26 a week ago, so perhaps the voters suddenly realized that MU lost?
Natisha Hiedeman became the second Golden Eagle to be named Big East Player of the Week this season when she snagged that honor on Monday. It had to be an easy choice for the league office after the sophomore from Green Bay slapped together a 12 point, 18 rebound, and 10 assist triple double against Western Illinois on Friday night. She joins Erika Davenport amongst the list of winners this season, which is kind of funny: Allazia Blockton is the one that’s leading the Big East in scoring at 19.6 points per game, nearly three more points than anyone else in the league.
Over the next 12 days, Marquette is going to tangle with all three of their in-state rivals. This will be their biggest test of the three games, and it’s a great opportunity for the Golden Eagles to show the AP voters that they deserve a national ranking. MU is already going to get a boost from the wins over Oregon State and Arizona State in terms of the NCAA tournament come March, and if Green Bay holds up their end of the bargain (more on that in a minute), a win over the Phoenix will pay off in a big way...... if Marquette can find a way to come away with the W.
Game #8: vs UW-Green Bay (6-1)
UWGB holds a 33-8 advantage in the all time series. The Phoenix have won the last four contests between the two squads, with Marquette’s last win coming back in December of 2010.
YAWN, another season, another preseason prediction to win the Horizon League for the Phoenix. As has been the case for the past eight seasons, UWGB is picked to win the league again this year. It’s actually kind of shocking that they’ve only been picked to win the HL for nine straight seasons, because they’re currently on an EIGHTEEN YEAR STREAK of winning the Horizon League regular season title. How the hell did people vote against them 10 years ago when they had won eight straight titles?
Green Bay joins Marquette in the Receiving Votes category of the Associated Press poll yet again this week, with the Phoenix (22 points) just a bit ahead of the Golden Eagles (15 points). With just a loss against at-the-time #1 Notre Dame marring their record this season, you can be sure that Green Bay will be gunning for a big time victory in this game.
Mehryn Kraker is living up to her billing as a preseason all-Horizon League First Team honoree. The graduate student from West Allis is leading UWGB with 16.7 points and 4.4 assists per game. She also leads the team in three point attempts with 30, but she’s only connecting on 27% of them. Allie LeClaire and Jessica Lindstrom are both north of 39% from long range, so Marquette can not leave them alone. Lindstrom, who is listed at 6’1”, is averaging a double-double with 12 points and a team high 10.7 rebounds, so it’s clear that she’s going to be a handful for the Golden Eagles defense. In fact, she’s the only Phoenix player averaging more than 3.4 rebounds, so MU is going to need to know where Lindstrom is at all times.