No. 6 Seed MU Set for 2016 BIG EAST Tournament
March 4, 2016
MILWAUKEE--After concluding their regular season schedule, the Marquette University women's basketball team is set to compete in the 2016 BIG EAST Women's Basketball Tournament, Presented by the Jeep Brand. The Golden Eagles have drawn the tournament's No. 6 seed, clinching a first-round bye and setting themselves up with a matchup against No. 3 seed, Seton Hall on Sunday, March 6, at 2:30 p.m. Central time at McGrath-Phillips Arena in Chicago.
The game will be broadcast live on FS2 with LaChina Robinson and Lisa Byington on the call.
On Wednesday, March 2, the BIG EAST announced its award winners for the 2015-16 campaign. Allazia Blockton was named Freshman of the Year and was named to the All-Freshman Team, along with teammate Natisha Hiedeman. Junior McKayla Yentz rounded out the trio of MU awards, being named Most Improved Player.
The Golden Eagles and Pirates split their two earlier contests this season, with each squad holding serve on their home court. In early January, Seton Hall toppled Marquette to the tune of 99-68 in South Orange, N.J. In the game, The Pirates were led by the BIG EAST's second leading scorer, Tabitha Richardson-Smith whose 20 points were a team-high among six SHU players who netted double figures. The script was flipped in the Jan. 31 rematch, as Marquette bested the No. RV/25 Pirates 89-82 at the Al McGuire Center. That night, five MU players scored in double figures, as newly anointed BIG EAST Freshman scoring record holder, Blockton, clinched a double-double behind 21 points and 10 boards.
On the season, Marquette was led by their youth, as Blockton, Hiedeman, and Erika Davenport paced the team both with scoring and on the glass. Blockton was the BIG EAST's third leading scorer, averaging 18.3 points per contest, while also leading the team in rebounding, pulling down 7.8 boards per game. Hiedeman did most of her damage from behind the three-point line, as the Green Bay, Wis., native hit a freshman program record 65 threes. Davenport was an integral part of Marquette's growth throughout the season, as the forward was a dual threat, averaging 11.6 ppg and 6.7 rpg.
The youngest team in Division I competition based on experience, featured eight freshmen who accounted for 80.3 % of Marquette's points, and 74.4% of minutes played for MU in 2015-16.
Despite dropping their final contest of the regular season to DePaul, Marquette enjoyed a season of great improvement as the squad more than doubled its conference win total from their 2014 output, finishing with a 9-9 record in league play. After a three game losing streak which spanned from late January to early February, Seton Hall finished up their regular season in convincing fashion by winning their final five contests.
In 15 all-time meeting between the two programs, MU holds a 9-6 advantage over Seton Hall.
The Golden Eagles are 7-11 all-time in BIG EAST tournament action, and have won its last six tournament opening games.
The winner of Sunday afternoon's matchup will take on either No. 2 Villanova, No. 7 Creighton, or No. 10 Providence on Monday, March 7 at 3 p.m. CT.
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