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Marquette women erase first half deficit, stun No. 19/18

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It seemed like the Golden Eagles would be in for a long night during the first half of the Marquette women’s basketball game against the No. 19/18 DePaul Blue Demons on Saturday night. DePaul went on a 9-0 run early in the first quarter, and then extended that lead to 15 points later in the second quarter before heading into the locker room up 44-29. However, the second half would be a completely different story.

Marquette’s offense was rejuvenated coming out of halftime. Point guard Danielle King started scoring at will, forward Erika Davenport provided great post play and senior McKayla Yentz delivered some clutch 3’s to bring Marquette all the way back and tie the game. All the Golden Eagles needed to do was stop DePaul from scoring.

With ten seconds left in the game and the score tied at 89-89, Amarah Coleman got a dish in the left corner, dribbled along the baseline and scored to give DePaul the 91-89 lead. The Blue Demons quickly called timeout to force Marquette into its half-court offense. Allazia Blockton got the ball off the inbound, dribbled to the left elbow and nailed the jumper to tie the game up with time expiring.

In overtime, both teams exchanged baskets, but the Golden Eagles pulled ahead 102-101 after a layup from Davenport, which ended up sealing the game and snapping Marquette’s five-game losing streak against the Blue Demons.

“It’s big for us. It’s another top-25 win, we are three and oh against top-25 teams,” Danielle King told gomarquette.com. “We practiced hard for them all week, just the focus of the team. We knew going into they were a tough team even with the injuries they have, and we just came prepared.”

King led the way for Marquette with 27 points, 19 of which came in the second half.

“It was just our toughness. We knew we came off a little soft in the beginning and we just knew it came down to rebounding, transition, steals and we just came and played our butt off in the second half,” King said.

On the other side of the ball, the Golden Eagles had no answer for DePaul guard Brooke Schulte, who scored 35 points. She fouled out with 2:09 left in overtime.

After the rough first half, Marquette began to press, giving DePaul trouble bringing the ball up the court. The Blue Demons committed 19 turnovers on the night, with 10 of them coming in the second half. By comparison, Marquette had only three turnovers.

Late in the third quarter, Yentz hit three 3-pointers to pull the Golden Eagles within eight. Then with 7:03 left to go in the fourth quarter, Marquette pulled within three after Blockton hit a free throw. The Golden Eagles took an 87-85 lead with 50 seconds left to play – their first since the game’s opening minutes – after Davenport nailed a pair of free throws. That set up Blockton and Davenport for their late-game heroics.

The Golden Eagles will take on Providence in Providence on Friday.

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