If you ever wanted to see a game that explains exactly how important effective field goal percentage is to your team's success, well, look no further than Friday's women's hoops game between Creighton and Marquette. The game featured 11 lead changes and seven ties as the Bluejays came away with the 83-81 win.
Let me explain the importance of eFG% for you with a simple table.
That's the Golden Eagles winning three of the Four Factors, and putting up a decently respectable number for effective field goal percentage. Creighton had a first half eFG% of 54% and a second half mark of 63%! That's a good way to lose a game, even if your second half eFG% is just under 60%.
The key factor in the loss for the Golden Eagles comes down to Creighton's defense in two places: Allazia Blockton and Danielle King. The freshman duo combined to shoot 10-33 in the game, and ultimately cratered the whole team's shooting numbers for the day. Everyone else either shot the ball well or had their slightly sub-par shooting assisted by great three point shooting.
Even with that shooting weighing them down, Marquette had a chance to win the game as things came down to the final horn. Marquette couldn't get stops, but they were answering the Jays late. Creighton only led by 1 with a minute to play and once it went under 40 seconds to play, Marquette began fouling to extend the game. To Creighton's credit, they made all four of their free throws to keep Marquette back on their heels. The game came down to the final Creighton inbounds after a layup by Amani Wilborn made it a two point game. Natisha Hiedeman bolted in from outta nowhere to cleanly steal the inbounds pass, and after a brief scrum where everyone attempted to collapse on her, she got off the game tying shot with two seconds remaining..... but her three footer bounced off the rim, Audrey Faber secured the rebound for the Jays, and that was that.
While Blockton had a rough day shooting the ball, she still finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists for a fairly impressive performance. It extends her Big East lead in double-doubles and double digit rebound games, thus continuing her case to be named Big East Player of the Year. Blockton led Marquette in rebounding and assists in the game, while Erika Davenport led four Golden Eagles in double digits with 19 points.
It was a career day for three Bluejays, which is never a thing you want to hear when you're cheering for the opposition. Junior Lauren Works went for a career best 23 points, powered by 6-8 shooting from behind the arc. Freshman Audrey Faber notched her first career double double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Jade Owens (14/8/7) and Sydney Lamberty (10/8/8) both had near misses on triple-doubles, including a career best on assists for Lamberty.
Up Next: Marquette looks to bounce back from this one with a Sunday afternoon showdown at Providence. The Friars (5-20, 1-14 Big East) are coming off of a 91-68 loss to DePaul on Friday.