No Erika Davenport? No Danielle King?
#13 ranked Marquette women’s basketball picked up the 80-57 win over Providence in the regular season finale on Sunday, and thus claimed the Big East regular season title outright. MU finishes the regular season with a record of 15-3, while second place DePaul wraps up at 14-4. It’s the first ever outright Big East regular season championship in program history, and the second straight regular season title after MU shared the top spot with the Blue Demons a year ago.
While the final margin doesn’t make it look like it was, this was a competitive game for the most part. Yes, Marquette closed the first quarter on an 18-3 run to lead 18-8, and for a second there, it looked like the Golden Eagles were well on their way to a win much like their 39 point margin against PC in Milwaukee back in the league opener. But the Friars held their own. Over the next 20 minutes, the lead never got bigger than 17 points, and for a while in the third quarter, it was a one possession game. Chanell Williams popped in a pair of free throws with 3:14 left in the third to pull the Friars within three, 50-47, but Marquette closed the quarter on a 8-3 burst that set the stage for the final frame.
MU outscored the Friars 22-7 in the fourth quarter and held them scoreless for the final 4:38 while scoring 14 straight of their own to close it out. If you were so inclined, you could call Selena Lott’s triple with 4:09 left to go the dagger for the game, as Providence’s Clara Che had just pulled the margin back under 10 points on the other end. Lott’s three was the first bucket in the 14-0 run, and was her only long range bomb of the game. Nice timing.
That dagger helped propel Lott to a team high and career high 19 points. Overall it was a big day for the future of the program, as junior Isabelle Spingola was the second leading scorer with 17 points behind 5-of-6 shooting from long range. After an outright disaster of a performance on Friday where she fouled out in 12 minutes, Allazia Blockton bounced back with 13 points, five rebounds, four assists, and four steals. That’s a lot more like it.
Danielle King left Friday night’s game after an injury and had to be carried off the court. As alluded to in the opening here, she didn’t play in the game. However, she was in uniform and wearing only a knee sleeve and not on crutches. After being carried off two days earlier, I never expected King to play in this game, and the fact that she seemed to be walking under her own power in Rhode Island seems to be a good sign that she will be available going forward. That’s not a guarantee of anything, though, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Up Next: The Big East has already announced the bracket for the 2019 conference tournament. Marquette will kick off quarterfinal action at Wintrust Arena with the first game of the day next Sunday, March 10th. The game will tip off at noon Central, but the opponent is still up in the air. MU will face the winner of the #8/#9 game from Saturday, which will be between St. John’s and Seton Hall. Marquette swept Seton Hall this season, but split the series 1-1 with the Red Storm.