Women’s basketball picks up first two wins in FIU tournament sweep

Golden Eagles averaged 96.5 points over the 2 games

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Women’s basketball picks up first two wins in FIU tournament sweep

Photo by Doug Peters/douglas.peters@marquette.edu

Photo by Doug Peters/douglas.peters@marquette.edu

Photo by Doug Peters/douglas.peters@marquette.edu

Photo by Doug Peters/douglas.peters@marquette.edu

Andrew Goldstein, andrew.goldstein@mu.edu

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The eight freshmen on the Marquette women’s basketball team have experienced a lot of firsts this season – first games, first starts, first pressure situations.

After this weekend, they can add “first tournament victories” to the list.

Marquette picked up its first two wins of the season this past weekend at the Florida International Turkey Slam in Miami. They tripped up the FIU Panthers 95-83 Friday in the opening round of the tournament before knocking off the previously undefeated Richmond Spiders 98-80 Sunday to claim the tournament crown.

“I could not be more proud of this group and how we have responded the past week,” head coach Carolyn Kieger told gomarquette.com. “It was fun to see the team sharing the ball and getting excited for each other.”

That ball distribution was on full display in the Golden Eagles’ first game against FIU. Five different Marquette players scored in double figures, and the Golden Eagles shot an astounding 52 percent from the field. Freshman guard Allazia Blockton put up 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting to lead the team in scoring for the second time this year. Blockton also pulled down 11 rebounds.

Freshman point guard Danielle King also provided a boost to Marquette’s offense. King, who was only shooting 36 percent from the field entering the weekend, put up 17 points on 6-for-13 shooting and dished out a team-high five assists.

Any worries that the Golden Eagles would not be able to keep up this sort of offensive intensity against a tougher 5-0 Richmond team were quickly assuaged in the first quarter. After maintaining a slight lead on the Spiders for most of the opening stanza, Marquette went on a 12-2 run that stretched its advantage from 13-11 with four minutes left in the quarter to 25-13 with just under 20 seconds left.

“Today is the best team basketball we have played,” Kieger said. “We are growing on the offensive end.”

Richmond, like most of Marquette’s opponents this season, simply could not keep the Golden Eagles off the foul line. Marquette is averaging 18.6 free throws per game, and they earned the right to shoot 28 freebies against the Spiders. Seven different Marquette players got to the line. Six of those players scored in double figures.

The only point of concern for fans of the Golden Eagles this weekend was the defense. On-ball defense was the team’s primary struggle last year, and it doesn’t seem to have gotten better yet – Marquette has now given up more than 75 points in five of its six games this season.

Still, considering all the factors working against Marquette this year, a 2-0 road trip is a milestone worth commemorating.

“This was a great trip for us both on and off the floor and I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to bond on this trip and get the two W’s,” Kieger said.

The team will now head back to the Al McGuire Center to open a three-game home stand. The first of those games will be Thursday night against the No. 7 Oregon State Beavers.

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