MU Welcomes Minnesota State for Exhibition Matchup

Nov. 3, 2016


MEDIA DAY COMMENTS: Carolyn Kieger | Natisha Hiedeman, Allazia Blockton

MILWAUKEE--The Marquette University women's basketball team will begin the 2016-17 season on Sunday, Nov. 6 with an exhibition tilt against Minnesota State at the Al McGuire Center at 1 p.m. CT.

Live stats via GameTracker will be available on

Entering her third year as MU's head coach, Carolyn Kieger's roster will consist of five newcomers, which include: Meghan Mandel, Lauren Van Kleunen, Altia Anderson, Isabelle Spingola, and redshirt junior Chelsey Gibson. After featuring the youngest lineup in Division I last season, Marquette returns all starters and letterwinners from 2015-16.

Mandel joins MU after attending Orono High School in Plymouth, Minnesota, where she was rated as the No. 15 center in the class of 2016 according to ESPN Hoopgurlz. At Orono, Mandel averaged 10.2 points, 6.5 boards and 2.6 blocks per outing during her career. Anderson comes to Marquette from Woodbridge High School in Greenwood, Delaware, where she tallied 19.3 points, 14.2 boards and 5.7 blocks per contest.

After redshirting last year, Gibson will suit up for the Golden Eagles for the first time, after transferring from Gulf Coast State College. At the time of her transfer, Gibson ranked No. 23 overall, and No. 4 at her position among junior college players according to ESPN Collegiate Girls Basketball Report.

Marquette will return 99.8% of its scoring from last season, which was led by three then-freshmen, Allazia Blockton, Natisha Hiedeman, and Erika Davenport. Blockton, the reigning BIG EAST Freshman of the Year, will look to build off her rookie campaign, which saw her snap the 21-year BIG EAST freshman scoring record. Blockton led the Golden Eagles in both points and blocks in 2015-16, averaging 18.7 points and 7.7 boards per game.

Davenport will join Blockton in the frontcourt, after amassing 11.6 points and 6.8 rebounds for MU last season. The sophomore forward also provided MU with a strong defensive prowess, recording 25 steals and eight blocks in 2015-16.

Hiedeman and Danielle King will once again lead MU's backcourt both on the offensive, and defensive ends. The two sophomore guards compiled 97 combined steals, and also combined for 645 total points, equaling 27.8% of the team's total output last season.

McKayla Yentz is MU's lone senior for the 2016-17 campaign. Last season, Yentz led the Golden Eagles with 70 three-point field goals, en route to averaging 10.0 points per outing.

At the annual BIG EAST Media Day, Marquette was picked to finish third, right behind Creighton and DePaul, who tied for first, in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll. Blockton and Hiedeman were also voted to the Preseason All-BIG EAST squad.

After playing Minnesota State, the Golden Eagles will prepare for their official season opener on Nov. 11, when they take on Longwood at 7 p.m. CT at the Al McGuire Center.




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