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Women’s Basketball survives rally, defeats Villanova on the road

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Erika Davenport recorded her eighth double-double of the season against Villanova.

Erika Davenport recorded her eighth double-double of the season against Villanova.

Photo by Austin Anderson

Photo by Austin Anderson

Erika Davenport recorded her eighth double-double of the season against Villanova.

BRYN MAWR, PA – There was just over two minutes left when Marquette broke its timeout huddle. Villanova sophomore shooting guard Adrianna Hahn had just sunk her ninth 3-pointer of the day to cut Marquette’s lead – once a comfortable 13 points – down to three. The crowd at the Pavilion was at its loudest.

After a deliberate round of passing, the ball found its way from shooting guard Allazia Blockron to point guard Danielle King, who fed it to Erika Davenport. The sophomore forward Davenport pivoted to her right, flicking a looping layup toward the hoop. It bounced on the rim once and went down.

Five-point lead, Marquette. Golden Eagle fans, exhale.

“We had to settle down, go to what we know and that’s obviously to get the ball in Allazia’s hands and then make a play,” head coach Carolyn Kieger said. “She did a fantastic job finding Erika down low.”

On a day when several things went awry for the Golden Eagles, Blockton and Davenport led the charge. Davenport scored 17 points and chipped in 15 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the year while Blockton led the team with 21 points. Together, they were enough to ward off Adrianna Hahn’s 31 points for Villanova and secure a 77-71 road win for the Golden Eagles.

“It was a good win for our first conference game,” Blockton said. “But when a player gets hot on the other team, we just got to do a better job of finding where that player is and locking her down. Hahn had a great game and we can’t let that happen in the future.”

The first quarter was a sloppy affair as the two teams combined for seven turnovers and a 10-for-28 shooting performance from the field. Hahn took over the early proceedings, going 3-for-6 from beyond the arc and leading all scorers at the end of the quarter with nine points. Nobody else made a three in the quarter.

Despite Hahn’s early successes from 3-point range, Marquette was able to generate some easy close-range looks off of astute dribble-drives. The Golden Eagles shot 46.2 percent from the field in the first and led 12-11 when the whistle sounded.

If the Golden Eagles were hoping Hahn would cool off in the second quarter, they were sorely disappointed. Hahn drained three more three-pointers, including one from several feet beyond the arc. The sophomore guard had six of Villanova’s seven first-half threes and 18 of her team’s 29 points. Marquette did not play badly in the quarter, but still found themselves down 29-28 at the half.

“We had some chippy plays there where we just weren’t ourselves and we just weren’t as strong as we want to be,” Kieger said. “Hopefully this is the last conversation we’ll have to have about toughness in the BIG EAST.”

Everything turned in the third quarter. Marquette used an 8-0 run in the middle of the quarter to take the lead, eventually seizing it for good on McKayla Yentz’s jumper at the 5:34 mark. Yentz, who had been held scoreless in the first half, finished the game with eight points.

That was not the only significant run the Golden Eagles made in the third frame. Marquette went on a 9-0 spree from the 2:19 mark to the quarter’s final whistle. Both runs were loosely connected by a made field goal streak. The Golden Eagles made eight straight field goals to close the quarter out.

The fourth quarter saw Marquette lose much of the 13-point advantage it had cultivated by the end of the third. Villanova gradually chipped away at Marquette, eventually getting the lead down to three points on Hahn’s career-high ninth three-pointer of the day. Kieger elected to take a time out, after which Davenport made her key layup.

A positive final result did not blind the Golden Eagles to their errors. Blockton pointed out numerous areas where her team needs to improve before facing Georgetown on Friday.

“We can’t have toughness mistakes, we can’t have plays where we don’t know where our man is and stuff like that. This was a good win, it was a gritty win, but it lets us know what we need to work on for the next game.”

“Obviously we’ll take a W on the road in the BIG EAST any day, but we’ve gotta get tougher,” Kieger said.

NOTES

  • King did an excellent job of running the offense down the stretch. She finished with seven assists, six of which came in the second half. Kieger credited King with leading Marquette’s offensive resurgence, “she was sharing the ball, commanding the game, pushing the tempo and finding our shooters.”
  • Sophomore guard Olivia Moskari was inactive for this game. She participated in pre-game shoot around, but wore sweats while the rest of the team wore warmups. Kieger said that she is “fine” and will be back in action soon. Moskari is averaging seven minutes per game this year and is 2-for-16 on field goals for the season.
  • Marquette bucked a recent losing streak against Villanova. The Golden Eagles had lost four straight against the Wildcats and six of their last seven. This was the first win against Villanova since the 2014 BIG EAST tournament and the first road win since 2013.

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