Marquette Wire

WBB vs Georgetown BIG EAST takeaways

Senior+McKayla+Yentz+celebrates+with+teammates+after+Marquette%27s+80-66+victory+against+Georgetown+in+the+BIG+EAST+Quarterfinals.
Senior McKayla Yentz celebrates with teammates after Marquette's 80-66 victory against Georgetown in the BIG EAST Quarterfinals.

Senior McKayla Yentz celebrates with teammates after Marquette's 80-66 victory against Georgetown in the BIG EAST Quarterfinals.

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Senior McKayla Yentz celebrates with teammates after Marquette's 80-66 victory against Georgetown in the BIG EAST Quarterfinals.

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Final Score: Marquette 80, Georgetown 66

Leaders

Points: Allazia Blockton (20)

Rebounds: Amani Wilborn (12)

Assists: Danielle King (11)

Survive and Advance

For the first time since 2014, Marquette will be making an appearance in the BIG-EAST Tournament conference semifinals.

It’s uncharted territory for the young squad, who, after two years of quarterfinal exits, have made the leap under head coach Carolyn Kieger’s careful tutelage into one of the fiercest teams in the conference.

“I’m excited. Last year around this time we were out of the tournament. I’m excited to get to play Creighton,” Danielle King said.

For a team built around a sophomore-heavy core, it’s a bright sign for the next couple years spent as true conference contenders.

“How our team has progressed, and how coachable they are, in one year says a lot about them. I’m just really proud of the fact that they can follow the game plan much better than they did a year ago,” Kieger said.

The semifinals game will be played tomorrow, March 6, at 3 p.m. in the Al McGuire Center. The Creighton Bluejays, who have already beaten the Golden Eagles twice this year, are now the only team standing in the way of a finals appearance in Tuesday night’s championship game.

King of the Court

When Danielle King gets the ball in transition she can fly down the court faster than John Ross can say “Forty-yard dash.”

Speed and quickness have always been her superpowers. Now, at season’s end, a new talent has truly manifested and redefined her game. King finished the game with a career high 11 assists, accounting for well over half of Marquette’s 17 on the night.

The five-foot-five guard averages a team high 3.9 assists a game and that number has steadily improved in recent games as the sophomore’s confidence grows and court vision edges closer to 20/20.

“She’s so improved, and I’m so proud of her. We talked at the end of last year about having her go to Point Guard College… I tell her she needs to have a General mentality, and she’s really starting to take that over. The team is really responding to her, you can see it in huddles as she’s trying to direct and lead,” Kieger said.

King found her ninth assist in transition of this nifty no-look shuttle pass to a cutting Amani Wilborn:

Something she certainly didn’t learn that in an intro level Passing 1001 at PGC.

The Defense (does not) Rest

Georgetown’s poor shooting ultimately sunk their ship, with the Hoya’s shooting just 34.3 percent from the field, 28.6 percent on threes, and 63.2 percent on free throws.

Of their three leading scorers, only Dionna White shot above 33.3 percent. White, a sophomore guard, notched 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting and did her best to keep a punchless Georgetown offense afloat.

Senior Faith Woodard and Dorothy Adomako, on the other hand, struggled to produce points at their usual clip and efficiency, with the former going 5-for-15 from the field and the latter 4-for-16.

“Pack the paint, we wanted to be in our gap defense… and to make sure we always had two on the ball at all times, so I think that really helped,” Kieger said.

Injury Report

Natisha Hiedeman’s health status was in question after an athletic finish at the rim slung her beyond the baseline, behind the basket, and eventually of the court and into the locker room with a nasty rolled ankle.

Luckily for Marquette, Hiedeman regrouped and checked back in to a standing ovation with a hair under three minutes left in the first quarter.

“We’ve been talking about toughness all year. It’s a big game and I wanted to be in it,” Hiedeman said. “I knew I was coming back regardless (of how much it hurt).”

The sophomore guard bounced back in the second quarter in a big way, scoring 8 points while going 3-for-3 from the field, two of which came from behind the arc. She led her team in scoring, helping fuel a 24-13 run over the quarter that helped secure a double-digit Marquette lead not truly questioned through the rest of the game.

Blockton, meanwhile, was sent to the locker room deep in the fourth quarter after a Georgetown elbow connected with her nose.

“Just a nose bleed. We’re fixing her up. She’s a fighter, we’re good,” Kieger said about her leading scorer.

Record Scratch

With their sixth and final make from deep tonight, the Golden Eagles tied the school’s single-season record for most three-point field goals made at 208.

“I didn’t even know that,” Kieger said, after the game. “Our goal is to share the ball. So, if it means that we’re penetrating and kicking out for threes, we just want the best shot for Marquette. If it’s in the paint, great. If it’s a three, excellent. We just want to take the best shot.”

With at least one more game left, it’s almost certain Marquette breaks that record.

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