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#22 Marquette Women’s Basketball Shreds Illinois-Chicago

An on-the-fly venue change didn’t affect the Golden Eagles on Saturday afternoon.

Amani Wilborn
Everybody got into the action, but it was Amani Wilborn leading Marquette in scoring at Fiserv Forum.
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After a vehicle smashed its way into the McGuire Center and ended up out on the basketball court very early on Saturday morning, it was clear that Marquette women’s basketball wasn’t going to be able to host UIC on that floor at 2pm that day.

Thankfully, the Milwaukee Bucks were set to play a game that night at Fiserv Forum, and MU’s wonderful partners at the arena were more than happy to jump into action to open the arena five hours early to allow for the two teams to get the game in. The sudden venue change that had to have been sprung on the Marquette roster when they arrived at the Al seemed to have no effect on them, or at least no negative effect, as MU put a beating on the Flames. Your final score from Fiserv Forum, in the first ever MU women’s hoops game in that building: 96-32.

If we’re being honest about the entire venture, the game wasn’t even that close. The venue change threw off my personal timing on Saturday afternoon, so I didn’t get to the game until the media timeout in the first quarter. At that point, Marquette led 13-3. 5:08 elapsed, and MU was already up 10. The Flames had already committed two turnovers, missed all five of their shots after making the first one, and racked up four personal fouls. In fairness to the Flames, three of those fouls were all on Jada Nneji. This was, largely speaking, indicative of the rest of the game.

The score by quarters in the game:

1st: 32-7
2nd: 24-7
3rd: 24-10
4th: 16-8

UIC finished with a shooting split of 18%/11%/53%. This is the lowest opponent point total for Marquette under head coach Carolyn Kieger and the lowest for any Marquette opponent since Vermont tallied just 19 points on December 4th, 2010.

This was a horrifying mismatch from the tip off, and the final score shows that. Marquette didn’t even play particularly well on offense, at least when you take the full 40 minutes into account. They shot under 30% from long range and ended up finishing with 1.19 points per possession. That’s not lighting the world on fire.

The good news is that head coach Carolyn Kieger got extremely liberal with her use of her bench. Everyone on the roster played at least five minutes, and no one played more than the 27 clocked by Natisha Hiedeman. I get the impression that it was Hiedeman most of all who was excited about playing on the Bucks floor in this game. She wasn’t shy about letting it fly from behind the green NBA three-point line instead of the makeshift white college line, and ended up shooting 3-for-6 from long range in the game.

Four Golden Eagles finished in double digits led by Amani Wilborn with 18 points. Wilborn added 10 rebounds to her day for a double-double, while Erika Davenport had a wildly efficient day, putting up six points and 10 rebounds in only 18 minutes.

Up Next: Well, Marquette is scheduled to play UW-Milwaukee on Wednesday, and after the game on Saturday, that was officially announced as happening. However, the location of the game is still up in the air as the game was scheduled to be played at the McGuire Center. The Panthers are 2-4 on the year and coming off a win out in California against UC-Riverside.