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THRILLER IN LINCOLN PARK: Marquette 102, #19 DePaul 101 (OT)

The Golden Eagles win in Chicago for the first time in 10 years in wild fashion.

Marquette women’s basketball
She might not have scored the timely baskets, but Danielle King’s career best 27 points led MU vs #19 DePaul.
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Allazia Blockton beat the buzzer at the end of regulation to force extra time and Erika Davenport provided the game winner with less than a minute left in regulation as YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles rallied from down 15 in the second quarter to beat #19 DePaul in overtime, 102-101.

It's MU’s first win over DePaul since February 2013 and their first win in Chicago since January 2007. It’s also the third win over a ranked opponent this season, moving the Golden Eagles to 3-0 in those games.

Marquette moves to 16-4 on the year and 7-2 in Big East play after one meeting with each league foe. DePaul drops to 16-5 and 8-1 in league action.

Things definitely did not seem to be going Marquette’s way through the first 20 minutes of this game. There was that 15 point deficit, and there was the 29.7% shooting effort that allowed DePaul to take a 44-29 lead at the break. Marquette solved their offensive problems in the third quarter, exploding for 30 points and trimming the lead to just eight points by the end of the frame. It almost seemed like things were careening out of control for Marquette late in the period, as they cut it to just seven with 1:53 left before DePaul ballooned it back to 13 on a three-pointer from Brooke Schulte. Things got back under control when McKayla Yentz sank a straight away trey as time expired to get it to the eight point margin.

Jacqui Grant put the Blue Demons back up 10 with 8:13 to play, but Marquette answered with a 9-0 run to make it a one point game on a layup from Davenport. That’s when things started going haywire, I think. Essentially, with the score at 78-77 with 3:05 to play, both teams stopped playing defense. Most of this was the result of both sides having too many fouls and not wanting to risk a foul out, but there were A LOT of largely uncontested baskets down the stretch. As you can kind of tell, this worked out in Marquette’s favor, as they had one last chance to tie the game. Weirdly, this is because DePaul head coach Doug Bruno is a nice and/or wily man.

After Amarah Coleman made it 91-89 with four seconds left, Bruno called timeout, forcing Marquette to go the length of the floor on a set defense. Somehow, Marquette connected on a 50 foot pass to Blockton, who drove, pulled up, and stuck a 15 foot jumper to force an extra session.

Believe it or not, at this point Marquette had not led in the game since holding a 2-0 lead when Blockton scored on the first shot of the game. In fact, as the announcers pointed out as overtime wore on, Marquette did not have the lead AND possession of the ball at all in the game until Shantelle Valentine came up with a steal with 38 seconds left in overtime. Things looked shaky for Marquette midway through the halftime session when Grant gave the Blue Demons a four point lead, but consecutive and-1 layups by Blockton and Davenport tilted it in Marquette’s favor.

After that steal by Valentine, Marquette had one last chance to pad their lead, but even a timeout and a play call from head coach Carolyn Kieger couldn’t get the ball through the net one last time. Grant yanked down Davenport’s missed shot, ran the length of the floor, and her buzzer beater threeball to win it.... clanked hard off the rim. No chance at a tip in, Golden Eagles win.

Somehow.... SOMEHOW, I have gotten all the way through this recap without mentioning a career high 27 points from Danielle King. The sophomore from Chicago was shredding the Blue Demons in the second half, collecting 19 of her points in the third and fourth quarters. Just luck of the draw that all of her majorly important points just weren’t crucial storytelling moments, I guess? King also had four rebounds and four assists, because you can’t just do one thing on this team. Blockton finished with 24 & 5 plus an assist and four steals, while Amani Wilborn came off the bench for a super sub line of 11 points, eight rebounds, three assists, a block, and two steals.

DePaul was led on the night by a game high (and league best this season) 35 points from Brooke Schulte, who seemed almost unstoppable while sinking 15 of her 22 field goal attempts on the night. Grant went for 27 points and 17 rebounds, dominating inside as she has every night in Big East play this season. She came in shooting 37% on threes in the previous eight Big East games, but she missed all three of her long ball attempts in this one, including her failed game winner at the horn.

Up Next: Believe it or not, Marquette gets to take a break of sorts. They played the first nine games of the league schedule since December 28th, but now they won’t play again til next Friday. They’ll be out in Rhode Island to kick off the second pass through the league, starting off with the first leg of the worst road trip in the Big East: Providence (9-10, 1-7 Big East), followed by Creighton (13-5, 7-1 Big East) on Sunday afternoon. Both of those teams have a game to play on Sunday before laying in wait for the Golden Eagles to come to town next weekend.