Powered by five players in double digits, including 21 from Allazia Blockton, Marquette's new freshman scoring champ, the Golden Eagles scored their fifth consecutive win with a 89-82 victory over Seton Hall on Sunday. The win moves Marquette to 6-5 in Big East action and 11-11 overall on the season after starting out 0-4. It's the longest winning streak under head coach Carolyn Kieger, and the longest streak by any Marquette women's hoops team since the first five games of the 2010-11 season.
In Marquette's first game against Seton Hall this season, the Pirates took a 15-0 lead to open the game before ending up with a 30 point win. That was definitely different this time around as Marquette took a 5-0 lead to start things off. Seton Hall's still a really good team, though, and that's why the first half had two ties and 12 lead changes. Even with that even play for most of the first 20 minutes, things turned in favor of the Golden Eagles over the final five minutes of the first half, largely because Seton Hall got hooked up with 15 fouls in the first half most of them in the second quarter. With seven Pirates sitting on two personal fouls, MU closed the half on a 16-4 run capped off by a Danielle King triple to beat the buzzer and put Marquette up 42-31 at the break.
Buoyed by that run, that shot by King, and the continued foul troubles for the Pirates, Marquette came out of the locker room with fire. That 11 point lead became 13 on the first made bucket of the half and with 3:27 left in the third quarter, it had bounced up to a 20 point margin. All Marquette had to do was survive the next 13 minutes and they'd walk out of the gym with a win.
That's about when Seton Hall started trapping, and Marquette's youth showed. Remember, Marquette only has 10 active players and only seven of them play on anything resembling a regular basis. Five of those seven are freshman, and Seton Hall took advantage of that. Over the next seven minutes bridging into the fourth quarter, Marquette committed five turnovers and Seton Hall had the ball down just five points.
Luckily, that's when the fouls started racking up for Seton Hall. By that point, Shakena Richardson and Aleesha Powell already had four fouls, and they were joined in rapid fashion by Tabatha Richardson-Smith and Lubirdia Gordon. By the time Gordon fouled out with 3:40 remaining, Marquette had dragged the lead back out to 12 points and things were mostly safe from there. Yes, it finished with a seven point margin, but it was a three pointer from Richardson-Smith with three seconds left that knocked that lead from its double digit perch.
While the fifth straight win to move above .500 in Big East play for the first time since the end of the 2013-14 season was the big team story of the day, the individual story of the day belongs to Allazia Blockton. With a jumper at the 6:49 mark of the first quarter, Allazia Blockton hit a jumper to tie the Marquette freshman scoring record with her 398th and 399th points of the season. Blockton didn't make us wait to see the record fall, hitting another jumper at the 4:44 mark to become the first Marquette freshman to ever score 400 points. She finished with 21 points on the afternoon, marking her record at a still climbing 416 points. Blockton's drive through the freshman record book is not close to over, by the way. Her next field goal will tie the freshman record for field goals made, and with four made free throws, she'll tie the freshman record for that, too.
While Blockton had her eighth double-double of the season with 10 rebounds to go with those points, she wasn't the only Golden Eagles who had a great day against Seton Hall. Erika Davenport went haywire, scoring 16 points and yanking down 14 rebounds, and Amani Wilborn came off the bench to score 17 points, grab 2 rebounds, dish five assists, and come up with four steals.
Up Next: Marquette has two prime chances to extend their winning streak and jump up the Big East standings coming up next weekend. They'll be out on the road to face Georgetown (12-9, 5-6 Big East) on Friday and Villanova (14-8, 7-4 Big East) on Sunday.