No. 3 MU Set for the 2017 BIG EAST Tournament in Milwaukee
March 4, 2017
MILWAUKEE- After capping off the regular season with five consecutive victories, the Marquette University women's basketball team is set to compete in the 2017 BIG EAST Women's Basketball Tournament, Presented by Jeep. The Golden Eagles have clinched the tournament's No. 3 seed, and earned a first-round bye and have set themselves up for a matchup with No. 6 seed Georgetown on Sunday, March 5 at 2:30 p.m. Central time at the Al McGuire Center.
The game will be broadcast live on FS2 with Lisa Byington and LaChina Robinson on the call.
On Wednesday, March 1, the BIG EAST announced its award winners for the 2016-17 season. Sophomore Allazia Blockton was named a unanimous selection to the All-BIG EAST First Team, while classmates Erika Davenport and Natisha Hiedeman were selected to the All-BIG EAST Second Team, and Honorable Mentions squads, respectively. With the honor, Blockton became the first MU player on the first team since Katherine Plouffe in 2014.
The Golden Eagles (22-7, 13-5) swept the season series with the Hoyas, claiming an 84-77 decision in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 30, as well as an 80-70 tilt last on Feb. 24 at the Al. In the most recent contest, Marquette received a balanced scoring effort, as Hiedeman led four Golden Eagles in double figures, netting 18 points and grabbing five rebounds. GU star Dorothy Adomako recorded a game-high 21 points, but struggled mightily from the field, shooting just 10-of-27. In the initial meeting between the two foes, the Blue and Gold used an early 13-0 run to seize a lead which they would never surrender. Blockton put up a well-balanced stat line of 21 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists to guide MU to victory.
On the season, the Golden Eagles have relied upon their quartet of sophomores for stability. Blockton, Hiedeman, Davenport, and Danielle King have combined to start 105 games for head coach Carolyn Kieger's side, and each boasts a double-figure scoring average.
Blockton led the BIG EAST in scoring, averaging 17.2 points per game, while Hiedeman finished third in the league in three point field goal average, nailing 2.3 treys per outing. Davenport was a beast on the glass all season long for MU, finishing second in the conference with a 9.6 boards per game average and led the BIG EAST with 14 double-doubles. King provided numerous crucial efforts throughout the year including a career-best 28-point performance in a February triumph over No. 17/15 DePaul. The Chicago, Ill., native proved to be an engineer in the MU offense, posting an impressive 2.4 assist to turnover ratio.
Marquette concluded the regular season on a five-game winning streak, and the squad won six of its seven matchups in the month of February. The team has shown tremendous growth in Coach Kieger's third season at the helm, claiming 22 victories for the first time since the 2013-14 campaign.
Georgetown (17-11, 9-9) enters the tournament having dropped its last two games and three of its last five overall. The duo of Adomako and Dionna White were All-Conference performers for the Hoyas this season, earning spots on the honorable mentions team, and the second team, respectively.
Marquette is 7-12 all-time in BIG EAST Conference tournament play, and was eliminated in the first round last season by Seton Hall.
In 14 all-time meetings with Georgetown, Marquette is 12-2. GU last defeated Marquette in January 2015.
The winner of Sunday's showdown will face either No. 2 Creighton, No. 7 Providence, or No. 10 Butler on Monday, March 6 in the tournament semifinals at 3 p.m. CT.
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