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It’s A Good News/Bad News Thing: #22 Marquette 85, Providence 46

A big and easy win for the Golden Eagles, but Allazia Blockton’s injury looms large.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Big East Conference Tournament-Creighton vs Marquette
Natisha Hiedeman scored 25 points to lead the way for Marquette against Providence.
Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday afternoon, Marquette women’s basketball picked up a relatively easy 85-46 victory over Providence as the #22 ranked Golden Eagles started off Big East action with a win.

That’s the headline for the day, but the next part of the game is fairly crucial to what’s going to happen in the next 17 games and beyond. Allazia Blockton, Marquette’s all-time leading scorer in basketball for both men and women, left the game after playing just eight minutes due to an injury and did not return. She scored six points to pass Jerel McNeal’s men’s basketball scoring record in her eight minutes of action, but for now, we wait to find out what her status is. Marquette has had players suffer game ending injuries in the past and return the next time out, sometimes two games down the line, without any ill effects. It’s unclear at this time what the possibilities are for Blockton, but losing the program’s all time leading scorer is never a good thing as the team attempts to defend its Big East regular season title from last year.

For this afternoon in particular, picking up the win against the Friars was never really in doubt. Marquette closed the first quarter on a 4-0 run to boost their lead to 16-6 at the closer of the period and then turned it into a 13-0 run with the first nine points of the second quarter. When you’re up 25-6 after less than 14 minutes, it’s just a matter of not driving the Ferrari into a wall. MU led by 28 at halftime and by 39 at the end of the third, and while Providence made a little bit of noise in the fourth to trim the lead to 34 on a pair of occasions, the Golden Eagles pushed back with a 8-2 burst over the final four minutes to snag the 39 point win.

In the overall absence of Blockton, Natisha Hiedeman and Erika Davenport were electric for Marquette, with Hiedeman putting together 25 points on 10-19 shooting with eight rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Davenport showed why she’s one of the best inside players in the Big East with a 19 point, 20 rebound performance. She added four assists, a block, and four steals in her free time, which is kind of bonkers if you think about it. As a team, Marquette shot 51.6% from the floor to balance out a 3-for-12 performance from long range and a 16-for-28 mark from the free throw line. They dug in on defense, allowing PC to shoot just 32% on the day and the 23 turnovers from the Friars made Marquette’s 17 giveaways relatively meaningless.

How about some highlights, courtesy of the Big East Digital Network and GoMarquette.com?

Up Next: It’s Big East play, so that means nothing but quick turnarounds for the rest of the year. Creighton will make their way to Milwaukee for a New Year’s Eve matinee on Monday afternoon, with tipoff set for 2pm Central. The Jays started conference action off with a big win over Big East co-favorite DePaul in Chicago on Saturday, so they’ll definitely be fired up to take on the league’s other co-favorite in that one.