Hiedeman, Blockton lead No. 8 Marquette over Villanova
MILWAUKEE (AP) — After a subpar performance, Marquette was back in its usual, dominant form Sunday.
Natisha Hiedeman scored 22 points, Allazia Blockton had 19 and No. 8 Marquette beat Villanova 93-55 for its 12th consecutive victory.
“I told our kids that you’re going to pay the price for them not playing well Friday night,” Villanova coach Harry Perretta said. “I know Georgetown played them zone, but I watched the tape and Marquette just missed shots.”
Marquette (21-3, 12-0 Big East) gained control with an 18-4 run to close the first quarter and cruised the rest of the way. The Golden Eagles have not lost since an 87-63 defeat at home against then-No. 2 Notre Dame on Dec. 22.
“When we’re out in transition and we’re making plays, I think we’re really hard to defend,” Marquette coach Carolyn Kieger said. “But it’s all when our defense gets out offense going. We got a lot of rebounds, a lot of quick transition outlets and for us, we didn’t really do that on Friday night.”
Marquette led 25-12 after one quarter and extended it to 46-21 at the half. The Golden Eagles led 72-42 entering the final period.
Jannah Tucker had 15 points on five 3-pointers, and Mary Gedaka added 12 points for Villanova (15-9, 6-7), which also lost at home to Marquette 91-55 in January.
“I just think Marquette is an elite team,” Perreta said. “They’re right on the cusp of that elite level of Notre Dame, Louisville, Connecticut. They’re on the cusp of that. When they get it going, they’re really, really good.”
Marquette received a scare when senior forward Erika Davenport, the team’s leading rebounder, left the game with 2:34 left in the third quarter with an apparent leg injury. Davenport, who surpassed 1,000 career rebounds in the previous game, entered averaging 11.9 points and 9.7 rebounds.
“She should be fine, just rolled it a little bit” Kieger said. “She’ll be good. She’s a tough cookie.”
Kelly Jekot scored on a drive to put Villanova up 8-7, but Davenport answered with consecutive layups on the right side to give the Golden Eagles the lead for good.
Marquette methodically increased its lead throughout the second quarter. Isabelle Spingola hit back-to-back 3-pointers for a 44-19 lead.
Spingola finished with 14 points, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range.
“I just think Friday night, like coach was saying, it’s good for us to win ugly sometimes, but I think today we just came out, everyone was playing hard,” Spingola said. “You could see we were all sharing the ball well, we’re all confident scorers and we just had a lot better of a team win.”
The Golden Eagles shot 60 percent in the first half, scoring 24 points in the paint and 17 off fast breaks. Villanova tried to counter from outside, but was just 1 of 13 from beyond the arc in the first half.
“We missed so many easy shots in the first half,” Perretta said. “I thought the score, to be honest with you, should have been 40-30, but instead it’s 46-21. Because when you miss, you also can’t slow the other team down.”
Villanova: The Wildcats had won four straight before losing Friday night at DePaul. The Wildcats next three games are at home, where they are 8-3.
Marquette: With two weekend victories, the Golden Eagles have clinched a first-round bye in the Big East tournament. Marquette’s No. 8 ranking is the highest in program history and the highest for a Big East team since the conference realignment.
Villanova hosts Georgetown on Saturday.
Marquette is at St. John’s on Friday.