Powered by an 18 point, 13 rebound, and five assist performance from freshman star Allazia Blockton, Marquette knocked off Xavier, 74-69, on Sunday afternoon. The win moves Marquette to .500 on the season at 13-13 and 8-7 in Big East action. That record has Marquette sitting alone in sixth place in the Big East with three very winnable games to play.
It was a pretty wild game, where the first and third quarters featured a bunch of ties and lead changes and the second and fourth quarters were largely about Marquette taking a major lead. The opening 10 minutes had four ties and two lead changes, but Marquette was holding onto a five point advantage at the end. The Golden Eagles held that lead for the entire second period, boosting it as high as 12 on a three pointer from Natisha Hiedeman with two minutes left before intermission. It wobbled back down to just eight points at halftime on a bucket from Raeshaun Gaffney, but it looked like Marquette had mostly taken control of the game.
Xavier came blasting out of the locker room, outscoring Marquette 14-4 over the first five minutes to take a 41-39 lead. Amani Wilborn answered with a layup to knot the game at 41, and Blockton knocked one down to give Marquette the lead again, and as it turned out, the lead for good.
That Blockton bucket came at the 3:40 mark of the third quarter. Just past the midway point of the fourth quarter, Hiedeman hit a three pointer, her fifth of the game, to give Marquette an 18 point lead. You'd think that might be pretty much the end of things, but nooooope, Xavier had one more shot in them. The Musketeers outscored MU 19-6 over the rest of the game, and it took Hiedeman's final three pointer of the game, a SICK step back triple, with 1:26 to play to punch Marquette's lead from eight back to 11. That was the dagger that MU needed to preserve their win.
With 18 points in this game, Blockton is now just 44 points away from the Big East's all time freshman scoring record. Her Marquette record is up to 484 points on the season, which has her 83 points away from 5th place on MU's all time single season scoring charts. Elsewhere, Hiedeman extended her three-pointers made AND three-pointers attempted freshman records here, and the same goes for Blockton on the freshman records for field goals and free throws made. Hiedeman is now just 30 points away from becoming the second MU freshman to ever score 400 points in a season.
Up Next: Marquette is staring at the worst road trip of the season. Not because of the difficulty, because that's St. John's/Seton Hall. It's because of the ground that they're going to have to cover: They'll be in Omaha to play Creighton (12-14, 6-8) on Friday night and then trek on over to Providence to take on the Friars (5-19, 1-13) on Sunday afternoon a scant 41 hours later.