Women’s basketball looks to improve from beyond the arc

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Women’s basketball looks to improve from beyond the arc

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

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During the 2017-’18 season, the Marquette women’s basketball team was 17th in the nation in points scored, and 157th in 3-point percentage. Marquette is looking to change that with Sweet 16 aspirations on the horizon.

While the team shot 45.3 percent from the field, they did not have the same success from the perimeter.

Last year, the Golden Eagles were not afraid to shoot the ball from long range. They ranked 48th in 3-pointers attempted and also made the most 3-pointers in head coach Carolyn Kieger’s tenure at Marquette. The problem was the types of shots they were taking.

“I don’t think it was that we couldn’t shoot the three. Our percentages were down,” Kieger said. “Now that we’ve been talking to our players about (uncontested shots), you’ll see a different level of percentages from each and every one of our shooters.”

Senior guard and reigning BIG EAST Player of the Year Allazia Blockton said Marquette is a team that likes to get to the basket. If Marquette improves its 3-point percentage, Blockton said it’s going to be harder for teams to defend them. The increased spacing would likely make driving to the basket more feasible.

Kieger said she expects increased production from junior guard Isabelle Spingola. Last season, Spingola had the second highest 3-point shooting percentage on the team after only playing 8.8 minutes per game.

Senior forward Erika Davenport also returns for her final season. Davenport was only 1 for 4 on 3-point shots, but Kieger said Davenport has been working on adding a 3-point shot in the offseason.

“Izzy Spingola is going to play a lot more than she did last year which will help stretch the floor, but even Erika Davenport has added a three to her game,” Kieger said. “Everybody has really been focusing on our efficiency and our percentages.”

Last year, Blockton was one of the Golden Eagles’ best 3-point shooters. She shot the highest clip from downtown last year at 0.392, but she doesn’t shoot the three often. Blockton only had four more attempts from three at 97 than Spingola, and Blockton played on average 30 minutes a game. Over the offseason, she did a few things to improve her shot.

“Just working on my range shooting a little bit further,” Blockton said. “I have a pretty good 3-point percentage, but I don’t shoot it a lot. So, I’m working on shooting it more, and I’ve been really working on that in practice.”

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