Four players in double figures guides Marquette to first BIG EAST Championship in win over DePaul - Mar 10, 2017
The third-seeded Marquette Golden Eagles won their first BIG EAST title on their home floor over top-seed and nationally ranked No. 17/17 DePaul 86-78 Tuesday night. BIG EAST Honorable Mention and member of the All-Tournament Team Natisha Hiedeman led the Golden Eagles with 28 points and knocked down six triples to become the most prolific sophomore three-point shooter in Marquette history. BIG EAST Tournament Most Outstanding Player Amani Wilborn notched 20 and grabbed eight rebounds, Danielle King added 14 points and seven rebounds and All-BIG EAST First Team honoree Allazia Blockton put in 12 points and snagged seven boards. This win gives the Golden Eagles an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament and will be their first appearance since 2011 and first under Coach Carolyn Kieger in her third year leading the program. With the victory, Marquette improves to a perfect 6-0 against ranked teams and takes home its first tournament title since 1995, when the Golden Eagles won the Great Midwest Conference. The Golden Eagles emerged victorious in all three matchups against the Blue Demons this season, handing DePaul its only three conference losses. In route to the championship, three-seed Marquette defeated six-seed Georgetown and two-seed Creighton before downing DePaul. This is the first time a three-seed has won the tournament since 2012 and gives the Golden Eagles their eighth win in a row. For DePaul, All-Tournament Team honoree Jessica January poured in 23 points to go with her seven rebounds and seven assists and Amarah Coleman scored 17 before fouling out. Chante Stonewall and BIG EAST Player of the Year Brooke Schulte rounded out the Blue Demons in double digits scoring 11 and 10 points, respectively. The loss snaps DePaul's four-game winning streak and drops their tournament final record to 2-1. As BIG EAST Regular season champions, DePaul will head back to the NCAA Tournament after a Sweet Sixteen finish last year. The game opened at a break-neck pace, as each team traded baskets in a quarter featuring nine lead changes. Hiedeman knocked down a half-court heave to end the first to give Marquette a 25-24 lead and fueled the Golden Eagles with eight points. For DePaul, Jacqui Grant had seven points to go with two blocks and a steal for the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the year. The high-scoring quarter was no surprise considering DePaul and Marquette lead the BIG EAST in average points per game. Wilborn opened second quarter scoring with two of her eight-second quarter points and Marquette built a six-point lead. However, DePaul quickly responded and January bounced in a fall-away jumper as time expired to pull the Blue Demons within two at the break. January had 12 and four assists in the half while Grant chipped in seven and four boards. For the Golden Eagles, Hiedeman had 13 and nailed three triples while Wilborn notched 12 points and five rebounds. Coleman knocked down a three to give DePaul an early second half lead and put up 11 points in the third, bringing her point total to a team-leading 14. Hiedeman added another three triples in the frame and guided Marquette to a narrow 59-58 lead heading into the last ten minutes. A scoreless four minutes for DePaul paired with a Marquette 7-0 run gave Marquette an eight-point lead with just under five to play. The Blue Demons kept the deficit to single-digits until King knocked down a corner three pushing the lead to ten with three minutes to go in the game. DePaul put together a late run and a January three cut the lead to five with 25 seconds to play, but Marquette free throws down the stretch iced the victory for the Golden Eagles. This win is Marquette's first-ever over DePaul in the Tournament, as the Blue Demons were a perfect 4-0 against the Golden Eagles heading into tonight's action.
Courtesy of BigEast
Big East Tournament Final: Marquette - DePaul 86-78 Big East Tournament Semifinals: Marquette - Creighton 72-65 DePaul - St. John's University 59-41
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