Women’s basketball barely beats DII Minnesota State in scrimmage

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Women’s basketball barely beats DII Minnesota State in scrimmage

Allazia Blockton led the team with 22 points.

Allazia Blockton led the team with 22 points.

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Allazia Blockton led the team with 22 points.

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Allazia Blockton led the team with 22 points.

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The Marquette women’s basketball team had what head coach Carolyn Kieger called a “reality check” Sunday afternoon when they took on Minnesota State. The Golden Eagles were hoping to do some fine-tuning against their Division II opponent, but instead they discovered some work still needs to be done, as they squeaked out an unsatisfying 78-75 win. Here are the takeaways from the game.

Defense

One of the main storylines heading into the season is the effort the team has done to improve defense, but Saturday there was evidence there is still some work to be done.

Marquette allowed Minnesota State to score 75 points and shoot 45.8 percent from the field.

The Golden Eagles mostly played man-to-man defense, but Kieger wasn’t too impressed with the way they defended.

“On-ball defense, we were getting blown by left and right and we need to be able to contain ours and really be able to handle the man in front of us,” Kieger said.

“We have to get better on defense,” added Allazia Blockton. “We aren’t going to outscore every team. I know we are good on offense, but our defense was really not that good today and it showed.”

The Press

It looks like Marquette will once again rely heavily on a full court and 3/4 court press. They have implemented a new press system that the players are still getting used to, so there were some moments when things fell apart, but when the press was working it appeared that it could be quite the asset for the Golden Eagles. Marquette would often double-team the ball carrier just as she would cross half court and when it was executed properly, Marquette was able to get a turnover and cash that in for quick points in transition.

3-point shooting

The Golden Eagles were an abysmal 3 for 21 from beyond the arc and two of those threes came in the fourth quarter.

“We have been shooting the ball really well in practice, probably first game jitters. I’m glad we got it out of the way. That is the point of exhibition, right? Get your misses out, so on Friday night we will hit them all,” Kieger said.

It appeared like there were some set plays trying to set up Olivia Moskari and McKayla Yentz for 3-pointers. It is hard to imagine those two having that bad of a night again. I would expect both Moskari and Yentz along with Natisha Hiedeman to be key contributors to the offense from beyond the 3-point line.

Allazia Blockton

This won’t be much of a surprise, but Allazia Blockton is going to be a force on offense again. She led the team with 22 points on 10 of 15 from the field. Blockton was especially impressive in the way she was able to get to the basket. She also was tied for the team high with 31 minutes. Marquette’s offense was much more efficient with her on the floor. Kieger will be relying on her heavily, especially when the offense needs a boost.

Amani Wilborn

Kieger said during media day that she expects Amani Wilborn to be in the running for the BIG EAST’s Most Improved Player and she does not appear to be wrong about that. Wilborn also played 31 minutes, registered 12 points on 5 of 13 from the field and dished out seven assists. She showed good ball handling skills along with speed and the ability to stretch the floor.

It should also be mentioned that Erika Davenport finished with a double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds), which included 8 offensive rebounds.

The season tips off Friday night at 7 p.m. when the Golden Eagles take on Longwood at the Al McGuire Center.

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