The Marquette Golden Eagles advance to back-to-back Big East finals after staving off Creighton, 76-70, on Monday afternoon. The game was oh so close as we all expected with 11 lead changes and 5 ties. However, when it mattered the most, the Big East Player of the Year came through with a historic performance. Allazia Blockton had 32 points, 11 boards, 3 assists, and 4 steals. Her 32 points set an MU program record for most points in a Big East tournament game by a player. She broke her previous personal record of 31 points that she set in last year’s Big East tournament game against Seton Hall.
Blockton was the Bluejays’ nightmare. I spoke in my quarterfinals recap about how Creighton wouldn’t have a clue which MU player would go off and I was correct. Blockton was unstoppable. She was a perfect 5 for 5 from 3-point range and let me tell ya...I could watch that shot all day long and it wouldn’t get old. It’s absolutely majestic. In fact, I’m going to show you the highlights right now so you can see it for yourselves.
Now tell me you haven’t seen a better stroke than that one. In fact, I challenge you. Please comment below with clips of a better looking shot stroke and I’ll take it into consideration. Blockton was also active defensively grabbing 11 boards for her seventh double double this season and nabbing four steals. She has a lot of incredible performances, but this might be her best one as a Golden Eagle.
Marquette needed every bit of it to get past a pesky Creighton team that would not go away. They hit 46% from the field and 40% from distance, but those numbers are lower than tbey were for most of the game as the Jays missed several long range shots late. The Bluejays had four in double figures including Audrey Faber (20), Jaylyn Agnew (15), Sydney Lamberty (13), and Olivia Elger (12). Those are great numbers that would give you a win on most any other night. Faber went 9 of 16 from the field and brought down six boards, while Agnew’s 15 points were complimented by seven rebounds. Those are really good numbers and will win you a game any other night. Allazia Blockton wasn’t having it and took the game over. Wow, I still can’t (and probably won’t) get over her performance. She has the ability to lead the Golden Eagles deep into The Tournament. She’s that good.
Amani Wilborn and Danielle King also stepped up scoring 16 and 12 points respectively. So it wasn’t like Blockton went all Markus Howard vs Providence on the Bluejays...but it definitely resembled that performance. Something also worth mentioning was the 13 turnovers MU forced the Bluejays into and were able to capitalize with 17 points. For a frame of reference, the Golden Eagles only committed six turnovers the entire game. So if you’re looking for a secondary reason why the Golden Eagles pulled out the victory, that’s it. It’s their second straight game with just six turnovers. Ball security has clearly been an emphasis for head coach Carolyn Kieger and her team has responded well so far in the Big East Tournament.
Up Next: Marquette will square off against DePaul (no surprise there) in the Big East Tournament finals for the second straight year. We all remember last year when the Golden Eagles upset the Blue Demons at the Al McGuire to take the crown. That completed the three game sweep of DePaul in 2017. This year the series is split 1-1 so it would be super sweet if Marquette could take down the Blue Demons on their home court.