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Marquette Women's Basketball: Allazia Blockton Sets New Big East Freshman Scoring Record In Loss To #19 DePaul

And not a close loss, either.

Allazia Blockton broke the Big East freshman scoring record, but the Golden Eagles took a beating as a team.
Allazia Blockton broke the Big East freshman scoring record, but the Golden Eagles took a beating as a team.

Good news: Allazia Blockton scored 16 points and became the Big East's all time leading freshman scorer with 530 points on the season, surpassing the record of 528 set by Providence's Kerri Chatten in 1994-95.

Bad news: Marquette lost to #19 DePaul, 98-65.

The Blue Demons led by nine at the end of the first quarter, 12 at halftime, and 24 at the end of the third quarter.  They had a lead of 38 at one point midway through the fourth quarter before it settled on the final margin of 33.

I hate pinning losses on one specific player, particularly when the team shot just 39% for the game and posted an effective field goal percentage of just 42%.  There were a lot of reasons why Marquette lost this game, but I think I can pinpoint why the final margin was completely bananas after being relatively close through the first 20 minutes.  Amani Wilborn picked up her third foul of the game with 4:23 left in the second quarter with Marquette trailing by 10.  Her fourth foul came with 6:24 left in the third quarter and Marquette trailing by 13.  She wouldn't play again until 90 seconds into the fourth quarter and Marquette trailed by 26.

Now, Wilborn hasn't been the most impressive player for the Golden Eagles this season.  Head coach Carolyn Kieger has been running with a seven player rotation, essentially keeping her three foreign born freshman locked to the bench.  With Wilborn playing just 12 minutes in the first half and 10 in the second half (most of which came in the fourth when the game was far past decided), it ended up crippling Marquette's rotation because everyone else was essentially required to play the entire rest of the game.  This was made worse by the pace of the game, as this game clocked in at 74 possessions.  In a slower game, maybe the fatigue of playing so much doesn't kick in, or at least kick in as badly.  With these two teams, though, things were going to be fast and furious, and that took its toll on Marquette.

The Golden Eagles finish the Big East season with a record of 9-9, and even after the blowout loss to close the regular season, it's still a five game improvement over last season's 4-14 finish.  They'll be either the five seed or the six seed in the Big East tournament next weekend, meaning they get a bye out of the first round and into the quarterfinals.  MU is currently alone in fifth place, with Georgetown and Xavier both half a game back at 8-9.  In a quirk of coincidence, those two teams play each other on Sunday, so one of them will have to end up in a tie with Marquette.  MU split the season series with both squads, so we'll have to wait for the full schedule to finish on Sunday before the tiebreakers can be settled out.