Scrappy women split weekend road swing

Blockton again MU’s leading scorer in both games

Photo by Doug Peters/

There were some positives and some negatives for the Marquette women’s basketball team in its split of two weekend games. Marquette (7-11, 2-5 BIG EAST) started off the weekend by dropping a close one to Xavier (14-4, 5-2 BIG EAST) Friday before regrouping and easily defeating Butler (7-11, 2-5 BIG EAST) Sunday.

Things definitely did not go as the Golden Eagles had hoped in the first half against Xavier. After trailing 18-13 at the end of the first quarter, Marquette gave up a 10-0 run to the Musketeers in the second frame and trailed by as much as 16 points. The Golden Eagles only connected on one field goal during the first eight minutes of the quarter. Fortunately for the Golden Eagles, they were able to finish the half on a 9-0 run of their own to keep the halftime deficit to 32-25.

Marquette scrapped its way through the second half, cutting Xavier’s lead to five at the end of the third quarter and even briefly tying the game at 53 in the fourth. Even so, the Golden Eagles were never able to break through and capture the lead. Turnovers and fouls allowed Xavier to jump back out in front, and they would stay there for the rest of the day as the Golden Eagles lost 71-66.

Despite the loss, there were some aspects of the game that Marquette could be proud of. The Golden Eagles out-rebounded the Musketeers 18 to 9 on the offensive glass and managed to come up with a nearly one-to-one assist to turnover ratio: 11 assists compared to 12 giveaways. Two Golden Eagles posted double-doubles: freshman guard Allazia Blockton (22 points, 11 rebounds), and freshman forward Erika Davenport (16 points, 12 rebounds).

Marquette’s preeminent inside-outside duo was just as effective in Marquette’s next game against the Butler Bulldogs. Davenport contributed 16 points and five rebounds, while Blockton poured in a team-high 18 points and five rebounds. The two players combined to shoot 14-for-24 from the floor.

Unlike the Xavier game, though, Blockton and Davenport’s efforts rubbed off on the rest of their team against Butler. Freshman guard Natisha Hiedeman, who was held to 10 points against Xavier, put up 17 and hit a trio of three-pointers. Junior guard McKayla Yentz put in a more efficient effort as well; she scored nine points on 3-of-7 shooting after a 4-for-14 performance at Xavier.

The Golden Eagles controlled the Bulldogs for most of the game. The first quarter was played closely and Marquette only led by one at the end of it, but that would be as close as the game would get for the rest of the afternoon. Marquette added to their lead in the second quarter by taking the ball inside; ten of their fifteen points in the quarter were in the paint. Still, Butler hung with the Golden Eagles for much of the quarter, and a three-pointer from sophomore guard Sydney Buck made Marquette’s halftime lead a tenuous 32-27.

Fears of a Bulldog comeback were quickly laid to rest in the new half, though, as the Golden Eagles went on an 11-0 run in the first three-and-a-half minutes of the game’s latter portion. Even though there were 16 minutes left to play by the time Butler finally broke the run, the game was pretty much over at that point. Marquette’s lead briefly shrunk to eight at the end of the third quarter, but that was the smallest it would be for the rest of the game. The Golden Eagles won comfortably, 80-64.

“This is a huge bounce back win for us,” head coach Carolyn Kieger said. “The entire team contributed today and I’m proud of our energy from start to finish… When we play like that and share the ball we are a tough team to guard.”

Marquette shot close to 50 percent from the field as a team, and all three players that attempted more than 10 shots- Hiedeman, Blockton and Davenport- made more than half of them. The Golden Eagles were also effective at getting to the foul line against the Bulldogs; they took 16 free throws as opposed to only seven against Xavier.

The Golden Eagles will have a while to prepare for their next two games. They take on last-place Providence Friday and Creighton Sunday. Both of those games will be at home.