Coming into the 2019 Big East tournament, there were questions to be asked about Marquette women’s basketball. Sure, they were the Big East champs and the #1 seed in the tournament, but they limped into the end of the regular season quite literally. Erika Davenport suffered a season ending knee injury and Danielle King missed the finale with an injury as MU went 3-3 down the stretch. What would the Golden Eagles be in the postseason, especially opening up against a team like St. John’s that beat them when they were at full strength?
Well, turns out that the answer to that question is “really flipping great.”
Marquette closed the first quarter on an 11-2 run and turned on the thrusters from there for an 88-57 victory over the Red Storm in the Big East tournament quarterfinals. The Golden Eagles advance with ease to the tournament semifinals on Monday.
The biggest component of the victory was clearly and easily Natisha Hiedeman. The 2019 Big East Player of the Year showed exactly why she picked up that trophy, recording 11 points, 10 rebounds, and two assists...... IN THE FIRST HALF. That’s how the Golden Eagles built a 40-19 lead at the break, and no that is not a typo. Marquette held the Red Storm to just 0.56 points per possession in the opening 20 minutes. Hiedeman ended up finishing with 20 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, a block, and three steals.
Oh, and she had a pair of her seemingly trademark long distance assists, too.
There’s not much else to say about how the game came together. Once Hiedeman started off an 8-0 run to open the second quarter, Marquette never led by fewer than 15 ever again, and they were up at least 20 the entire second half. It was the kind of dominating performance that we became accustomed to seeing from the Golden Eagles all season long, but not one that we saw from them against St. John’s this year.
Danielle King made her return to the Marquette lineup here, starting in her usual spot. She finished with nine points, four rebounds, and four assists in 29 minutes. She did have an injury scare in the second half as she appeared to get tangled up with her own teammates and went tumbling into the MU bench as a result. She didn’t appear to be in significant pain though, and even with MU up 26 at the time, King did return to the contest to help MU fill out the remaining minutes.
How about some highlights, courtesy of FS2 and GoMarquette.com?
Up Next: We know that Marquette will be in the semifinals, but we don’t know who they’ll be playing yet. As I type this, Villanova has a 34-29 lead on Georgetown midway through the second quarter, and the winner will get the Golden Eagles tomorrow at Wintrust Arena. According to the Big East’s website, that game will tip off at 3pm Central on FS1.