Women’s basketball seeks redemption against DePaul


Photo by Elena Fiegen

More than a year later, Marquette women’s basketball’s previous stay at the Marriott Marquis in Chicago still has a sour taste in the team’s mouths.

The team left Chicago after losing by 35 points to in-conference rival DePaul in the 2018 BIG EAST Championship.

“Ever since we left this place last year, we’ve had a chip on our shoulder,” senior guard Allazia Blockton said.

Fortunately for the No. 13 Golden Eagles, they have a chance for redemption Tuesday night against DePaul in the 2019 BIG EAST Championship.

MU already swept DePaul in the regular-season series, winning by 33 at home Jan. 4 and six in Chicago Feb. 3, but winning at Wintrust Arena with the conference title on the line would have special meaning.

“We’re super excited (to redeem ourselves),” senior guard Natisha Hiedeman said. “We’ve been working for this the whole season. Even the preseason.”

Head coach Carolyn Kieger said the team plays better when playing with something to prove.

“We play better when we have a chip on our shoulder, as they say,” Kieger said. “That’s been (the seniors’) M.O. for their whole entire careers here.”

Senior guard Danielle King said the team uses losses like last year’s as chances to learn.

“Every loss, we take it as a lesson, and we let it fuel us for the next game and the next season,” King said. “We know we came up short last season.”

Now Hiedeman said the team has the maturity to withstand the punches it couldn’t handle a year ago.

“We continue to grow every day,” Hiedeman said. “If we get punched, we’re mature enough to not fold and punch right back.”

Marquette has already experienced redemption a few times in this BIG EAST Tournament. The Golden Eagles opened play Sunday with a 31-point win over St. John’s, the team that dealt MU its first conference loss of 2019.

“I don’t think we could’ve asked for a better response from this entire team,” Kieger said.

There wasn’t much doubt afterward whether redemption was on the players’ minds.

“Yeah, we don’t like losing,” Hiedeman said. “After that game, we just looked at all our mistakes and we learned from it.”

In the press conference Sunday, Kieger rattled off the combined statistics from games that happened about a month ago as if they had happened yesterday. Thirty-three missed layups. Six 3-pointers.

Marquette then beat Georgetown Monday afternoon, who upset MU in the 2017-‘18 season. The Hoyas have given the Golden Eagles especially close games this season.

“They gave us a punch, they gave us their best effort and we weathered it,” Kieger said.

Now Marquette is preparing for a punch from DePaul. A Marquette win would mark the second time the Golden Eagles have won three times in one season against DePaul in program history.

In the meantime, that sour taste has become quite the hunger.

“We’re hungry to get to the championship game,” King said.

“I’m starving,” Hiedeman said.