Marquette Wire

Hiedeman free throws secure 71-68 win over Georgetown

Marquette+remains+in+first+place+in+the+BIG+EAST+following+its+win+over+Georgetown.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Maggie+Bean%2FMarquette+Athletics.%29
Marquette remains in first place in the BIG EAST following its win over Georgetown. (Photo courtesy of Maggie Bean/Marquette Athletics.)

Marquette remains in first place in the BIG EAST following its win over Georgetown. (Photo courtesy of Maggie Bean/Marquette Athletics.)

Marquette remains in first place in the BIG EAST following its win over Georgetown. (Photo courtesy of Maggie Bean/Marquette Athletics.)

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It took nearly the full 200 combined minutes of basketball, but the Marquette women’s basketball (19-8, 13-3 in BIG EAST) secured a 71-68 victory over Georgetown (12-14, 7-9 in BIG EAST) Sunday at the Al McGuire Center.

Georgetown had beaten Marquette this year and was coming off an 86-85 victory at No. 24 DePaul on Friday.

“Georgetown is playing really well right now and that is a huge win for us,” Marquette head coach Carolyn Kieger said. “And to do it on our home floor with defense and to do it for Shantelle (Valentine), I’m really proud of the team … (The Hoyas) are balanced, they have multiple people that can score and they are tenacious on rebounds. For us, they match up pretty well with us in terms of athleticism and speed.”

Marquette had a 69-66 lead with 27 seconds left, but Georgetown had possession. The Hoyas brought the ball across half court, but threw an errant pass out of bounds, allowing Marquette to regain possession. The Golden Eagles missed both free throws to keep the score at 69-66.

On the ensuing possession, Georgetown wound down the clock before finally getting a layup with three seconds left to make the score 69-68. The Hoyas fouled Natisha Hiedeman, who hit both of her free throws to give Marquette a 71-68 lead. Georgetown threw up one last prayer of a shot, but it would be to no avail, as Marquette secured the win.

Hiedeman and fellow junior Allazia Blockton each finished with 15 points, while Georgetown junior Dionna White finished with 27 points.

The Golden Eagles started the game on a 11-3 run, but turnovers erased that magic and allow Georgetown to creep back into the game. The Hoyas scored seven points off Marquette’s nine turnovers in the first quarter. Marquette had a 18-16 lead at the end of the quarter.

Turnovers remained a problem in the second quarter with Marquette fumbling the ball five more times and Georgetown reaping the rewards with 10 more points off those turnovers. This allowed the Hoyas to take a 33-30 halftime lead.

“For some reason we looked a little shaky, a little nervous in the first half,” Kieger said. “We talked a lot in timeouts about settling down, next play mentality and just try to be confident. When we’re playing confident, we’re sharing the ball we are really really good. When we play tentative or hesitant we play average.”

In the second half, the Golden Eagles settled down, and turnovers became less of a problem.

“We played smarter in the second half,” said Hiedeman “We made the right passes, we weren’t forcing it.”

Marquette was up, 49-47, heading into the fourth quarter, but Blockton had four fouls and fouled out with 1:39 left. With Blockton limited in the fourth quarter, Selena Lott helped pick up the slack with high pressure defense. The freshman guard picked up her opponent as soon as she crossed the line.

“That was huge,” Keiger said. “The last four minutes, I would say, she really shut them down. They didn’t know what to run because she was up there pressuring the ball. When she plays defense like that it feeds, or motivates them I should say, to really play with that amount of energy.”

The Golden Eagles are tied with DePaul for first place in the BIG EAST with a 13-3 record. Marquette will conclude its regular season on the road next weekend against St. John’s and Seton Hall.

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