WBB vs. DePaul Takeaways: MU secures another resume-boosing win


Photo by Austin Anderson

Erika Davenport led the Golden Eagles with nine rebounds Saturday.

Final Score: Marquette 96, DePaul 81


Points: Danielle King (28)

Rebounds: Erika Davenport (9)

Assists: King (9)

Marquette Golden Eagles, tournament team?

The Golden Eagles had a ticket to the NCAA Tournament, and they may have just punched it.

Today’s win over DePaul marked the fourth win this season over a top-25-ranked team, and pushed the Golden Eagles past the 20-win threshold that hasn’t been conquered since the 2013-’14 season. It also marked the first Marquette sweep over DePaul in over a decade, the last time being the 2003-’04 season.

The resume is neat, tidy and highlighted with a litany of impressive wins. The application is complete, and features an eye-catching display of striking team stats and season records. Now all that’s left is for the Golden Eagles is to hear their name called and cash in on an exceptional sophomore season behind head coach Carolyn Kieger.

“Hopefully we keep the momentum going, because we’re such a better team when we’re confident,” Kieger said. “When we play with energy, and we got that look in our eye, we’re tough to beat.”

A budding rivalry

DePaul may be sitting atop the BIG EAST throne with a 14-2 conference record, but both losses have come at the hands of the Golden Eagles.

In January, Marquette traveled down to Chicago and stole a game on DePaul’s home court. The 102-101 overtime thriller marked the best Golden Eagle victory to date, and served up one of only two home losses the Blue Demons have eaten all year.

“Confidence. We talked about it all week,” Kieger said. “Everything had to do with — we use the word ‘swag.’ We knew they had trouble defending us last game, and we (had trouble with them) as well. So we wanted to make sure we held them to less than 102. We knew it was going to be a high-paced game, and I have so much respect for what (DePaul head coach Doug Bruno) does with his team.”

With both teams priding themselves on a run-the-other-team-to-death mentality and owning the top two scoring offenses in the BIG EAST, their matchups this season have resulted in high-paced shoot-outs that are equally fun to watch as they are exhausting.

Fifty cents on the quarter

In their last matchup, the Golden Eagles overcame an early double-digit deficit to earn an overtime victory. Today, they wasted no time pulling ahead, opening the game with their best quarter of basketball all season.

Marquette poured in 38 points in the first 10 minutes, more than many teams score in a half, shooting 16-for-19 overall (84 percent) and a white-hot 6-for-6 from deep.

Through the first four minutes of the game, Marquette never missed a shot. They went a perfect 9-for-9, including three makes from deep, before Natisha Hiedeman just missed an elbow jumper with 5:19 remaining in the frame.

Hiedeman helped fuel the run, grabbing 11 points and going a perfect 3-for-3 from behind the arc in the first 10 minutes. Her second three came after a wicked pump-fake and her third came with a no-call foul so blatant the other team must have been confused.

King also picked up 11 points in the first quarter, with a clean 5-for-5 shooting line.

“It’s an adrenaline rush when you’re out there, and everyone’s firing and hitting shots and great assists from everybody. That’s the game you want to play all the time,” King said.

It all culminated in a 14-point lead that was never truly questioned through the final three quarters.

DePaul didn’t have a bad quarter, either, scoring 24 points on 9-for-19 shooting (47.4 percent) and hitting four of their six shots from deep. It just couldn’t match the Golden Eagles’ scoring explosion.

Best performances:

King: 28 points, five rebounds, nine assists, 11-for-13 from the field.

Davenport: 19 points, nine rebounds, two assists, 7-for-9 from the field.

Weird Stat:

The Golden Eagles are now 3-0 since Kieger ditched her scooter for a walking boot as she recovers from a torn Achilles.

Next up:

The Golden Eagles are off until Friday when Georgetown comes to Milwaukee. Tip-off at 7 p.m.