Marquette Set to Host St. John's Friday Night
Jan. 28, 2016
MILWAUKEE- The Marquette University women's basketball team will continue its BIG EAST Conference schedule on Friday, Jan. 29 when the squad welcomes St. John's to the Al McGuire Center for a 7 p.m. Central time showdown.
The game will be broadcast live on the BIG EAST Digital Network with Patrick Reed and Kyle Dlabay on the call.
Currently riding a three game wining streak, head coach Carolyn Kieger will look to lead her team to a fourth consecutive victory, which would mark the Golden Eagles' longest stretch of triumphs since December 2013. A win would also put Marquette at 5-5 in BIG EAST play, and would mark the first time MU has been at .500 or better in the conference since the conclusion of the 2013-14 season. The Golden Eagles are currently 9-11 overall and own a 4-5 mark in league action. Both win totals have already matched the win totals from last season's squad.
Marquette's recent success can be attributed to improved consistency on the offensive side of the ball. Over the Golden Eagles' five match ups, the team has failed to score 70 points just once, has netted 80 points or better three times, and set a season high of 105 points in a victory over Providence to begin their current four-game home stand. MU has also shown improvements on defense, holding their last five opponents to just 70.8 ppg, compared to 86.8 points per contest over the previous five games.
The Golden Eagles' improved offensive attack is led by a pair of freshmen as guards Allazia Blockton and Natisha Hiedeman remain MU's leading scorers. The duo has also made their presence felt among conference foes with Blockton's 19.0 ppg average placing her second in the league, while Hiedeman's 14.3 ppg has her in a tie for ninth place among eligible BIG EAST players.
Last time out, the Marquette defeated Creighton, 79-72, in a back and forth affair that included huge efforts from four MU freshmen. Blockton, Hiedeman, Erika Davenport, and Amani Wilborn all tallied double-digit points, while Blockton also contributed seven rebounds, five assists, and five steals to accompany her 21 points. In addition to strong efforts from their youth, it was a veteran who swung momentum in the Golden Eagles' favor as Junior McKayla Yentz buried a huge three late in the fourth quarter to put away the Bluejays. Yentz, the Sun Prairie, Wis. native, was also big on the glass for MU, as she grabbed a career best 10 rebounds on the afternoon.
St. John's, who currently sits in second place in the BIG EAST ladder, will take a 16-4, 7-2 record into the matchup with the Golden Eagles. Winners of five of their last six, and eight of their last ten, the Red Storm will look to counter MU's youth with experience, as their duo of seniors Danaejah Grant (18.9 ppg) and Aliyyah Handford (16.6) sit third and fourth in the BIG EAST in scoring, respectively. St. John's has also been strong defensively this season, surrendering just 60.0 ppg.
Following the match up with the Red Storm, MU will conclude its stretch of four home games on Jan. 31 with a Sunday matinee against Seton Hall. Tip with the Pirates is scheduled for 2 p.m. CT at the Al McGuire Center.
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