Marquette's weekend went from not great to maybe bad on Sunday afternoon as they dropped an 81-60 decision to Villanova. The Golden Eagles drop to 11-13 on the season and 6-7 Big East games, while Villanova moves to 15-10 and 8-6 in the league.
Well, where do you want to start on this one? I guess we could start with the way the game started, which was Villanova getting the first seven made baskets of the game across the first five minutes and thus taking a 17-0 lead. I guess, if you want to try to find a silver lining there, you could go with the fact that Marquette only committed two turnovers along that opening run, so it was just purely missed shots.
That might have been what put Marquette in a hole, but it probably wasn't the deathblow. It's hard to come back from a 17 point deficit, but if you've got 35 minutes to do it, you've got a chance to figure it out. Marquette was doing their damnedest to do exactly that in the second quarter, cutting the lead to as few as three points before it settled at seven at the break.
And then Villanova missed one shot in the third quarter.
That's not a joke. They shot 11-12 in the quarter with four made three pointers, with the only miss of the 15 minute section coming on a Caroline Coyer three point attempt on their second shot attempt of the period. For those of you playing along at home, that's an effective field goal percentage of over 108%. The score after that mishmash of problems? 66-45 favoring the Wildcats, a long way from the 35-28 score at halftime. It got one step worse for Marquette on Nova's first possession of the fourth quarter, as Katherine Coyer answered Natisha Hiedeman's opening bucket with a three pointer. MU would cut the lead to 16 with just under seven minutes left, but that's as close as they would come in the final 10 minutes.
Three Golden Eagles scored in double digits in this one, led by Hiedeman with 15. Hiedeman also had nine rebounds and five assists in the game, plus, with her second of her three made three-pointers in the game, she moved into second place amongst Marquette freshmen. She needs just two more to tie Arlesia Morse's freshman record. In other record book news, McKayla Yentz hit two three-pointers in the game to move out of a tie with Kelly Schwerman for the third most made three pointers by a junior. With at least six games left on the schedule, both Hiedeman and Yentz can take a run at the top five made three pointers in a season all time.
There's also the matter of Allazia Blockton's records. She extended her freshman season records for points (445), field goals made (162), and free throws made (106). With 10 points in this game and 19 points against Georgetown on Friday, Blockton is now just 83 points away from the Big East freshman scoring record, set by Providence's Kerri Chatten in 1994-95.
This weekend led to two road losses for the Golden Eagles, but it was a little more than that. Villanova and Georgetown were two of the three remaining RPI top 100 teams on the schedule for Marquette, and since they came in riding a five game winning streak, MU had a chance to play their way into contention for a postseason berth, possibly even an NCAA spot with a little bit of luck. Now, with a record of 4-10 against the RPI top 100, things seem a little bleak on that front. With five games on the schedule, all winnable based on the first meetings against those teams this season. Three of those game will be at the McGuire Center, including......
Up Next: .... the two games next weekend against Butler and Xavier. The Bulldogs (8-15, 3-9) will be in the McGuire Center on Friday night, while Sunday afternoon's contest against the Musketeers (17-6, 8-4) will be televised on FS2.