Back on January 12th, Marquette women’s basketball led Butler by as many as 15 points before Erika Davenport left the game with a bone bruise. MU ended up needing a freak chance travel call and a buzzer beater layup from Allazia Blockton in order to beat the Bulldogs in regulation that day.
On Sunday, no such drama was necessary.
After trailing by as many as eight in the first quarter, Marquette outscored Butler by 27 the rest of the way and coasted through most of the second half on their way to a 78-59 victory over the Bulldogs. MU is now 17-8 overall and 11-3 in Big East action. Due to some unlucky foot placement, Marquette still trails 1st place DePaul by a game in the league standings, but the Golden Eagles are still one game ahead of Villanova as well. Marquette has also clinched a quarterfinal spot in the Big East tournament, as they can no longer finish any lower than 5th this season.
If you were paying careful attention to MU head coach Carolyn Kieger on Sunday afternoon, it might not have been surprising to see her start to develop a microscopic facial tic during the first five minutes of the game. Butler roared out to a 12-4 lead, using an 8-0 run to zoom away from a 4-all tie with the Golden Eagles. The Bulldogs connected on five of their first eight shots of the game, two from long distance, while MU struggled to knock down shots.
From there on out, though, it was the Marquette show. The Golden Eagles went on a 10-2 run to knot the action at 14, and then the two teams started trading scores. Natisha Hiedeman gave Marquette their first lead with 6:54 left in the second quarter, draining a triple to put MU up one. That kick started an 8-0 Marquette run that put the Golden Eagles in front for good. The lead blossomed to nine at halftime and then jumped up as high as 17 late in the third quarter.
Neither team could put the ball through the rim for the first two minutes of the fourth period, but that worked to Marquette’s favor in terms of just burning clock. Things did get a little interesting midway through the frame when Whitney Jennings and Sydney Buck bombed in threes on either side of a Marquette turnover to turn it into a nine point game with 5:43 to go, but a layup from Allazia Blockton and a pair of freebies from Hiedeman made it a 13 point game again, and that was pretty much that.
Somehow, we made it this far without mentioning Danielle King, who was actually the star of the show. She might be small in stature, but she was big time in this game, connecting on five of her nine long range attempts on her way to a game high 25 points. She also had four rebounds, an assist, and four steals for a very nice all around game. Blockton assembled her sixth double-double of the season, going for 19 points, 11 rebounds, an assist, a block, and two steals. Hiedeman also had a great all around day, going for 11/3/4/4. Butler had a trio of player score in double digits, led by 18 points from Tori Schickel, who also had 10 rebounds on the day.
Up Next: Marquette returns to the McGuire Center for their final two regular season home games of the season. Villanova comes into town on Friday, with tipoff scheduled for 11:30 am. Georgetown will make their way in on Sunday afternoon with an eye on a season sweep over the Golden Eagles.