Spingola leads No. 8 Marquette past Georgetown 59-52

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Isabelle Spingola found her shooting touch when Marquette needed it most.

Spingola came off the bench to score 12 points and hit consecutive 3-pointers at the start of the fourth quarter that gave Marquette the lead for good as the No. 8 Golden Eagles defeated Georgetown 59-52 Friday night.

“At the end, they’ve got kids that make plays,” Georgetown coach James Howard said. “I thought the big two 3s by No. 30 (Spingola) were the daggers. She had four, two in the first half that hurt us, and two in the later half that killed us.”

Danielle King and Amani Wilborn each scored 12 points as Marquette (20-3, 11-0 Big East) won its 11th straight since an 87-63 loss to then-No. 2 Notre Dame on Dec. 22. Erika Davenport had 23 rebounds to pace the Golden Eagles to a 44-26 advantage on the boards.

Dorothy Adomako scored 17 points and Nikola Kovacikova added 13 for Georgetown (11-12, 5-7).

With the score tied at 44-all entering the final period, Spingola, averaging 5.7 points per game, connected from beyond the arc on consecutive possessions.

“We were missing all game and I thought we were getting great looks,” Marquette coach Carolyn Kieger said. “We just needed to see the ball go through the net a little bit. I thought that gave us confidence on the defensive end, too. We came up with some huge stops. But, I loved how gritty we were. We didn’t play great, we didn’t give our best effort, but we came away with a W and that’s what’s important at this time of year.”

Georgetown missed its first five shots in the fourth quarter before Adomako scored on a driving layup to make it 50-46 with 6:40 remaining.

A 3-pointer by Dionna White pulled Georgetown with 52-49 with 6:25 remaining, but the Hoyas missed their next four shots and turned it over twice as Marquette pushed the lead to 57-49 on a 3-pointer by Allazia Blockton with 2:57 remaining.

“I kept waiting for us to pull away a little bit,” Kieger said. “I don’t think we got enough in transition. I don’t think we got our momentum, as well call it our juice, or our swag — or whatever you want to call it — I just didn’t feel it tonight. I thought we were really stagnant and hopefully we can figure out what that was and solve it.”

Marquette faced a tie score entering the final period despite an overwhelming 35-21 rebounding edge. The Golden Eagles had 12 offensive rebounds, but managed just nine second-chance points through three quarters.

Kovacikova came off the bench to score 13 points and keep the Hoyas close in the first half, hitting 5 of 6 shots, including 3 of 4 from beyond the arc.

Marquette countered by going inside, getting 16 points in the paint.

After making just one of their first 10 shots, the Hoyas scored the final 11 points of the first quarter, capped by a pair of 3-pointers by Kovacikova.

“Nikola Kovacikova came in and hit some big timely 3s that got us going,” Howard said. “When you’re playing Marquette and they get on those runs, there’s no looking back. They’re going to continue to come at you, but I think we were able to stabilize that run and took the lead going into the second.”

BIG PICTURE

Georgetown: The Hoyas, 8-5 at home, play five of their final seven games on the road. Marquette was the first of three road games, followed by DePaul and Villanova.

Marquette: The Golden Eagles entered with a four-game lead over Butler in the loss column. They can secure a first-round bye in the Big East Conference tournament with a victory over Villanova on Sunday.

DAVENPORT ON THE BOARDS

With her 23 rebounds, Davenport pushed her career total to 1,110, becoming just the fourth Marquette player with more than 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. “When that shot goes up, I know she’s going to go after it with everything she has, and it showed big time tonight,” Kieger said. “But it wasn’t just tonight, it’s been the last 10 games where she’s really been pursuing the ball at a relentless rate.”

UP NEXT

Georgetown: At DePaul on Sunday.

Marquette: Hosts Villanova on Sunday.