Davenport grabs 20 rebounds in rout over Providence

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Davenport grabs 20 rebounds in rout over Providence

Photo by John Steppe

Photo by John Steppe

Photo by John Steppe

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Marquette head coach Carolyn Kieger has celebrated the leading rebounder this season, but she may need to find a new prize for Erika Davenport following Marquette’s 85-46 win over the Providence Friars.

“There should be,” Kieger said. “She should get dessert or something.”

The dessert would be following Davenport’s 19-point, 20-rebound performance against the Friars Saturday. She set a new career high and came six boards of tying Katherine Plouffe’s program record.

“She was just relentless,” Kieger said. “We’ve been preaching for her to be more active. I thought she did a great job of that tonight.”

Davenport attributed it to “just attacking the boards.”

“I just wanted them,” Davenport said.

Davenport also had four assists, which were as many as she had in all season entering Saturday’s contest.

The Golden Eagles had a slow offensive start, starting the game 1 for 7 from the field.

“The first five minutes were a little shaky,” Kieger said. “We couldn’t buy a bucket.”

However, a strong defensive effort negated any lack of offensive firepower. The Friars missed 22 of their first 23 shots, which allowed Marquette to take a demanding 25-6 lead.

The Golden Eagles’ offense heated up in the second quarter, making six consecutive field goals at one point. That stretch included back-to-back-to-back shots from senior guard Natisha Hiedeman.

Hiedeman had 15 points in the second quarter alone and finished with a team-high 25 points.

“She was posting up. She was taking it coast to coast. It was not just her three ball,” Kieger said. “She’s not just relying on her outside shooting, so now she’s a lot harder to guard because you don’t know what she’s going to do or when she’s going to do it.”

The Golden Eagles finished the half with 15-for-30 shooting. The Friars had 3-for-30 shooting.

“It was a combination of both (strong defense from Marquette and poor shooting from Providence),” Kieger said. “A couple times we had the shooters open too much, and they got more looks than we wanted.”

The Golden Eagles had a 40-12 lead at halftime, and Providence could not cut Marquette’s lead to less than 26 points after that.

The Golden Eagles dominated down low, outscoring the Friars 52-20 in the paint.

Marquette’s strong defense helped the team score in the transition on the other end. The Golden Eagles had 21 points off turnovers and 34 points on the fastbreak.

Providence improved its shooting in the second half and had as many points in the first five minutes of the second half as the entire first half.

“We have to make sure that we close games,” Kieger said. “We’ll watch (Providence’s scoring) and figure out why.”

Hiedeman, Davenport and fellow senior Danielle King all finished in double figures.

Senior guard Allazia Blockton scored six points, leaving her 11 points shy of becoming the first 2,000-point scorer in Marquette men’s or women’s basketball history. She did not play in the second half after suffering an injury in the first half. Her status for Monday’s game is unknown.

This win follows the Golden Eagles’ 87-63 loss to No. 2 Notre Dame Dec. 22.

“Our girls responded really well after the Notre Dame game,” Kieger said. “That’s what we wanted to start conference (play) with.”

It is also the third consecutive year that Marquette opened BIG EAST play with a win.

“We wanted to come out and just get this win,” Davenport said. “Get us going at the start of conference (play).”

Marquette returns to the Al McGuire Center Monday to host Creighton at 2 p.m. Central Time. The Golden Eagles and Bluejays have split the last eight contests.

“They’re tough,” Kieger said. “They’re a great team, and now that Agnew is coming back, we’re going to have to play our best basketball.”

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