Two Marquette turnovers in the final 45 seconds gave Creighton the opportunity to complete a comeback from a 13 point deficit as the Bluejays defeated the Golden Eagles on Sunday, 80-77.
The Golden Eagles drop to 16-6 and 7-4 in Big East play and have now lost two in a row for the first time all season.
While the two late turnovers will get the attention, the fact of the matter is that Marquette led by nine with 4:23 to play. Creighton had already stuck their foot in the doorway and refused to let MU slam it shut on them by the time the game got to the final minute. Sydney Lamberty dropped in a layup with 49 seconds left to get the lead down to just three points, thus giving CU the chance to do the ridiculous. Marquette leapt forward on the break, with Erika Davenport catching the ball out on the left sideline.... and she shuffled her feet. Davenport then compounded her problems by committing a foul four seconds later, allowing Lamberty, an 85% FT shooter, to flip in two freebies to make it a one point game.
Ok, fine. 36 seconds to play, Marquette takes a timeout, advancing the ball to the front court. With Creighton out of timeouts, all Marquette has to do is inbound, burn 29 seconds, put up a shot, and try to avoid Creighton going the length of the floor to tie or win, depending on what happens with the shot.
Instead, what happened was Allazia Blockton bobbled a pass and put one dribble on the ball to gain control of it and then she picked it up to maintain that control....... and then she started dribbling again. Odds are that if she just protects the ball, the referees would be quick on the whistle to issue a foul to Creighton since the Jays needed the ball back. But Blockton double dribbled. It happened, I know it did, as soon as she picked it up, I immediately thought “HELP HELP HELP HELP.”
Creighton inbounded and two seconds later, the Jays got a bucket from - GUESS WHO - Lamberty to take a 78-77 lead. Off the inbound, Danielle King missed a three, leading to Marquette fouling - you guessed it - Lamberty, who drained two more from the stripe with 15 seconds left. MU got kind of discombobulated on the final possession, leading to a rushed (and ultimately missed) three-point attempt from King. By the time she launched the shot, MU wasn’t getting a better look, but with 15 seconds to play, they definitely could have gotten a better look.
The worst part about Blockton’s late turnover is that she was awesome for the first 39 minutes and 28 seconds of the game. The sophomore from Milwaukee finished with 25 points, 11 rebounds, and two assists, giving MU a masterful performance coming off of Friday night’s ugly loss to Providence.
Natisha Hiedeman returned to the lineup after missing Friday night’s game with what Sunday’s Big East Digital Network announcers called an injury. Hiedeman started and played 34 minutes, finishing with 10 points, five rebounds, and three assists.
How about some highlights, such as they are, courtesy of the Big East Digital Network and GoCreighton.com?
Up Next: The Golden Eagles return home for their next two contests, including a bit of a scheduling oddity. For the first time that I can remember, MU will host a Catholic Schools Day on Friday when Seton Hall comes to town. It’s essentially the same thing as Milwaukee Public Schools Day, except for the local private schools instead. Tipoff against the Pirates (11-11. 4-7 Big East) is set for 11:30am Central on Friday.