No. 1 Marquette Ready for BIG EAST Tournament
March 2, 2018
CHICAGO - The Marquette women's basketball team is set for the BIG EAST Conference Tournament after clinching a share of the BIG EAST regular-season title, with DePaul, for the first time since joining the league in 2005-06. The Golden Eagles begin their tournament title defense against the winner of the No. 8 Butler and No. 9 Providence matchup at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Ill on Sunday, March 4 at noon Central time.
The game will air live on FS2 with Lisa Byington and LaChina Robinson calling the action. Matt Schumacker will provide sideline reporting.
The Golden Eagles have also enjoyed a plethora of individual accolades this season. Allazia Blockton was named BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete of the Year on Tuesday and BIG EAST Player of the Year a day later, becoming the seventh player in conference history to earn both accolades in the same season and the first in MU program history. Blockton shot 55 percent from the field, had five double-doubles, and 13, 20-point games. Classmate Erika Davenport was named to the All-Big East Second Team for the second year after averaging 12.1 points and 9.3 rebounds in league play, while Amani Wilborn was named All-Big East Honorable Mention for her 12.8 points per game and shooting 47.7 percent from the field.
Head coach Carolyn Kieger was voted BIG EAST Co-Coach of the Year in just her fourth season, leading the squad to its first back-to-back 20-win campaigns since 2006-08. The Golden Eagles enter the postseason on a six-game win streak and finished BIG EAST play 15-3, their most wins in conference history. Marquette has swept both Providence and Butler in regular season matchups. Providence (10-20, 3-14 BIG EAST) will open BIG EAST Tournament play against Butler (14-16, 6-12 BIG EAST) on Saturday, March 3 at 4 p.m. CT.
Providence leads the BIG EAST Conference and ranks 12th in the nation in three-point field goal percentage (.389). Chanell Williams was named a unanimous selection to the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team and Jovana Nogic has notched over 500 points this season. The Friars will be looking for their first BIG EAST Tournament victory since 2001.
Butler leads Providence in all-time series, 8-2. Junior Tori Schickel was named First Team All-BIG EAST and classmate Whitney Jennings was awarded All-BIG EAST honorable mention. Together, the two accounted for 52 percent of Butler's total scoring this season. Butler has never lost in the first round of the BIG EAST Tournament.
MU is 10-11 all-time in the league tourney and earns a first-round bye for the third consecutive season and fifth all-time. The Golden Eagles hoisted the crown last season on their home floor, which was also the first time the squad had reached the BIG EAST Tournament final. Should MU advance to the semifinals it will face No. 4 Creighton or No. 5 St. John's on Monday, March 5 at 3 p.m. CT on FS1.
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