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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Women’s basketball secures share of BIG EAST title

Photo by Elena Fiegen

For the second consecutive year, Marquette women’s basketball has a share of the BIG EAST regular season title.

The Golden Eagles secured a share of the title and the top seed in the conference tournament after dominating the Xavier Musketeers in a 79-53 win on Senior Day Sunday afternoon.

“It speaks volumes to be able to win a conference championship. It’s harder to do that than anything,” head coach Carolyn Kieger said. “That’s an 18-game stretch, and we’ve still got two games left to go, but to get that No. 1 seed, our team earned that all year. We deserved it.”

In the final home game of the regular season, Kieger let her seniors shine. The five available seniors combined to score 65 of Marquette’s 79 points.

“It was cool just being on the court with all the seniors,” senior guard Natisha Hiedeman said. “As far as playing with them for four years, it just means a lot to be able to have them on the court, but off the court as well.”

In the first full game without senior Erika Davenport in the lineup due to a season-ending lower body injury, senior captain Sandra Dahling picked up her first start of the season.

“(Sandra) does a lot for our team. A lot of it is behind the scenes,” Hiedeman said. “Your average person would not see everything that she does for us. She takes care of us, so having her out there means the world.”

Fitting for a day that honored the team’s seniors, a different Marquette senior stood out in each quarter. Guard Amani Wilborn led the charge in the first quarter, swishing two 3-pointers and adding a layup early in the frame.

Senior guard Danielle King was dominant in the second quarter of play, putting up 10 points and stifling defense in the period.

Hiedeman was the team’s focal point in the third, adding 10 points and several assists and rebounds in the quarter.

Marquette’s all-time leading scorer Allazia Blockton took over the final quarter, either scoring or assisting on the team’s first 13 points of the frame.

Hiedeman finished the game with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Blockton also had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

“We really challenged everybody to rebound the ball after Erika went down,” Kieger said. “(Blockton and Hiedeman) responded phenomenally with grabbing those boards.”

King added 15 points and seven assists, and Wilborn put up 13 points. Sophomore Selena Lott also scored in the double-digits with 10.

For Xavier, star forward A’riana Gray had 21 points and eight rebounds. Guard Aaliyah Dunham added 10.

“We didn’t play personnel great (on Gray) to start the game, but we did a good job containing her in the second half. She had eight rebounds and we wanted to hold her under 10,” Kieger said. “On the glass, on the rebounding battle, we did a great job.”

Marquette (23-5, 14-2 BIG EAST) will wrap up its regular season slate next weekend with away matchups against Creighton and Providence.

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