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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Blockton leads Marquette in close contest at DePaul

Photo by John Steppe

CHICAGO — No. 10 Marquette women’s basketball had possibly the toughest test of the BIG EAST schedule, defeating the DePaul Blue Demons 93-87 at the McGrath-Phillips Arena Sunday afternoon.

“I’m really proud of our girls’ toughness in the fourth quarter,” head coach Carolyn Kieger said. “(DePaul is always) going to be ready for us, and hopefully, we’re ready for them. It’s a rivalry. It’s something that our girls really take seriously.”

The Blue Demons remained competitive with the Golden Eagles throughout the game. Although DePaul only led in the game for 16 seconds early on, the game was within one possession for most of the final stretch.

The fast pace of the game resulted in a sloppy first half. The two teams combined for 21 turnovers in the first quarter alone. The 3-point shooting for both squads was abysmal before the half, going a combined 3 for 13 from the perimeter.

At halftime, the Golden Eagles led by 12. Then, DePaul’s offense heated up. The Blue Demons had a 37-point third quarter and narrowed Marquette’s lead to four points.

“DePaul was phenomenal,” Kieger said. “Their second half was as good a second half as I’ve seen from a team (as far as) shooting and output in a quarter.”

DePaul kept the game within striking distance in the fourth quarter, but the Golden Eagles kept up offensively. Aside from 80-80 and 83-83 ties, Marquette never relinquished the lead despite foul trouble. Senior guard Danielle King fouled out early in the quarter, and fellow seniors Natisha Hiedeman and Erika Davenport finished with four fouls.

“(We) did a really great job of regrouping in the timeouts and in the huddles,” Kieger said. “That’s the best part when you have a senior-led team, they know that we practice this every day and they have each other. I thought today wasn’t one person dominating. It was a very balanced effort from our team.”

Senior Allazia Blockton was a key factor in that balanced effort. The team’s only 2,000-point scorer, who missed the first matchup against DePaul Jan. 4 due to an ankle injury, certainly made her presence known with a game-high 25 points.

“I was working so hard to be able to get back with my teammates. I learned a lot about them, a lot about myself,” Blockton said. “Being away gave me a new appreciation for the game. Just to get back on the floor and compete with them, it’s been all that and more.”

Blockton’s fellow seniors were instrumental in the team’s victory. King had 18 points and eight rebounds in 29 minutes before fouling out.

Davenport had yet another double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Amani Wilborn was crucial down the stretch, adding 17 points and hitting several well-timed free throws at the end. Hiedeman, likely the frontrunner for BIG EAST Player of the Year, had 14 points.

Sophomore guard Selena Lott, who recorded four points late in the fourth quarter, was the only Marquette player besides the five rotational seniors to score.

“DePaul is a top-25 team,” Kieger said. “I have (believed that) all year, and I think they definitely have the talent. So for us to be able to win, in my mind, a top-25 battle on the road does a lot for our confidence and for us moving forward.”

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