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Marquette falls to No. 2 Notre Dame in overtime thriller

With+today%27s+loss+to+Notre+Dame%2C+Marquette+is+6-5+going+into+its+conference+schedule.
With today's loss to Notre Dame, Marquette is 6-5 going into its conference schedule.

With today's loss to Notre Dame, Marquette is 6-5 going into its conference schedule.

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

With today's loss to Notre Dame, Marquette is 6-5 going into its conference schedule.

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Marquette hung with one of the best teams in the country on the road but fell just short against No. 2 Notre Dame, 91-85, in an overtime thriller.

A Marquette upset appeared to be a done deal; Marquette had a 73-70 lead with just 44 seconds remaining in regulation. Notre Dame’s Kathryn Westbeld went to the free throw line and converted the first free throw to make it a two-point game.

Then, Westbeld missed the second free throw and grabbed her own miss. The senior dribbled along the baseline and tied the game at 73 with a spinning layup.

Both teams missed layups in the 39 remaining seconds to send the game into overtime. Milwaukee native and former Divine Savior Holy Angels standout Arike Ogunbowale took over in the extra period for Notre Dame. Ten of her game-high 22 points came in overtime, helping the Fighting Irish secure the victory.

The Golden Eagles forced 17 turnovers off a stingy full-court press and did not allow Notre Dame’s lead to ever reach double digits.  It looked like their persistence paid off when sophomore Isabelle Spingola drained a spot-up three off a dish from Amani Wilborn to give Marquette the lead with just over two minutes left in the game. Spingola was 4-of-6 beyond the arc with 12 points while the rest of the Golden Eagles combined to shoot 2-of-22 on 3-pointers.

Early on, the Golden Eagles were strong, jumping out to a 23-15 lead at the end of the first quarter. Notre Dame tried to shoot Marquette out of the game early, but ended up almost doing it to themselves instead, going 1-of-10 on 3-pointers in the opening period and only 4-of-22 for the day.

The Irish stormed right back by starting off the second quarter with an 8-0 run and claiming a 38-37 lead going into halftime.

As per usual, Marquette’s starting quintet of juniors carried the load, with all five scoring in double figures. Forward Erika Davenport controlled the boards, grabbing a career-high 16 rebounds and adding 19 points. Guard Allazia Blockton recorded a double-double with a team-high 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Fellow guard Natisha Hiedeman scored 12 points, which put her over the 1,000 career points mark. She is the 26th player in program history to achieve the milestone and the second on the current team to do so. (Blockton was the first.)

Marquette has now played two top-15 teams this season. The Golden Eagles forced overtime against the No. 12 Tennessee Volunteers in the Cancun Challenge over Thanksgiving before losing, 101-99.

The loss drops the defending BIG EAST champions’ record to 6-5. All five losses have come against teams either currently or previously ranked this season. By contrast, the Golden Eagles were 6-0 against teams ranked in the top 25 last year.

Next up, the Golden Eagles will kick off their conference schedule against St. John’s. Marquette hosts the Red Storm Dec. 28 at 7:30 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on Fox Sports 2.

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About the Writer
Chris Reisner, Sports Producer

Chris Reisner is a junior at Marquette from Brookfield, WI. As sports producer he puts together a weekly television show, creates print and video content...

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