Marquette is now 7-0 in Big East play with two games left on their first pass through the conference. The Golden Eagles have won 15 straight at the McGuire Center.
The first quarter was a little rocky for the Golden Eagles, and a little on the sloppy side, too. Still, even with their struggles, MU found themselves up four after 10 minutes, and that turned into 13 at the break. The thing was, though, at the time, Marquette probably should have been up waaaaaaay more than that. First, it was only 13 because Danielle King hit a half-courter at the buzzer to push it up from 10. Second, Xavier had turned the ball over on 28% of their possessions and couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn on their shots. The lead should have been a lot more, especially given the pace of the game to that point.
Apparently, that was the message at halftime from head coach Carolyn Kieger.
After a bit of back-and-forth to open the third, Marquette ripped off a 15-0 run across the middle of the quarter to put the game out of reach at up 26 with 4:45 left in the quarter. The impressive part of the whole deal? Xavier only committed three turnovers. That was mostly just defense from the Golden Eagles to deny the Musketeers good looks and make sure that MU came away with the rebounds.
Things continued to go Marquette’s way over the rest of the third as they expanded the lead to 32 on an and-1 layup by Amani Wilborn in transition right before time expired. The lead would balloon as high as 35 early in the fourth quarter before Kieger took her foot off the gas and Xavier managed to wobble their way back to within 21 at the final horn.
As usual, the star of the game was Allazia Blockton, finishing with a game high 19 points, along with three rebounds, an assist, and two steals. Erika Davenport erased any concerns about her bone bruise suffered on Friday night with a strong 12 point, eight rebound, two assist performance in just 19 minutes. Perhaps the biggest showing of the afternoon was from Natisha Hiedeman, who scored seven points, all after halftime. Niedeman hadn’t put the ball through the rim in any fashion since the third quarter against Providence a week ago, giving her seven straight quarters without a point. She went 3-of-7 after the intermission, including a quick five points straight out of the locker room to help MU get rolling. She also had three rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and two steals, so she was contributing elsewhere on the floor before her shooting stroke came back to her.
How about some highlights, courtesy of the Big East Digital Network and GoMarquette.com? You know you gotta see King’s half-courter.
Up Next: Marquette heads out on the road for their next two. First up will be Georgetown on Friday night. The Hoyas are 7-10 on the season and have lost four straight after falling to Seton Hall, 70-65, on Sunday afternoon.