Marquette Wire

Women’s basketball to face Dayton in NCAA Tournament

Head+coach+Carolyn+Kieger+fires+up+fans+before+Marquette%27s+2017+NCAA+Tournament+game+against+Quinnipiac.
Head coach Carolyn Kieger fires up fans before Marquette's 2017 NCAA Tournament game against Quinnipiac.

Head coach Carolyn Kieger fires up fans before Marquette's 2017 NCAA Tournament game against Quinnipiac.

Photo by Brian Georgeson

Photo by Brian Georgeson

Head coach Carolyn Kieger fires up fans before Marquette's 2017 NCAA Tournament game against Quinnipiac.

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For the first time since the 1999 and 2000 seasons, Marquette women’s basketball will make the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons.

“It says a lot about where we are as a program and where we’re going,” Marquette head coach Carolyn Kieger said. “Its been about 20 years since we had back-to-back NCAA appearances, so I’m very proud of my players, my staff and the entire Marquette community.”

The Golden Eagles (23-9, 15-3 BIG EAST) received a No. 8 seed and will travel to Louisville for their first round game against the No. 9-seeded Dayton Flyers (23-6, 15-1 Atlantic 10). Dayton had just one conference loss and did not lose a game between Dec. 21 and Feb. 21. The Flyers are appearing in their eighth NCAA Tournament in the last nine years.

Marquette hopes to avenge last year’s team, which lost 68-65 against Quinnipiac in the tournament’s first round after entering the tournament with a five-seed, the highest in program history.

“I’m just super excited to get another opportunity to play in the tournament,” Marquette junior guard Natisha Hiedeman said. “I feel like we’re more prepared and ready.”

This year’s squad is heading to Louisville on a much lower note than the 2016 squad, who had just beaten DePaul to capture the program’s first-ever BIG EAST Tournament title. The Blue Demons got their revenge this season, clobbering Marquette 98-63 in the tournament’s final round to deal Kieger the worst loss of her tenure as head coach.

“We definitely want to learn from that loss,” junior guard Amani Wilborn said. “But we’re definitely moving forward.”

Tipoff for Friday’s matchup against the Flyers is 1:30 p.m. CT on ESPN 2. It will be Marquette’s first matchup in Louisville since the old BIG EAST split up in 2013.

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About the Writer
John Steppe, Executive Sports Editor

John Steppe is the executive sports editor for the Marquette Wire. He is a junior majoring in journalism and double-minoring in digital media and Spanish. He primarily covers men’s basketball, women’s soccer and basketball recruiting. You can follow his coverage on Twitter @JSteppe1.

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