March 6, 2017
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MILWAUKEE- Behind a career-high 21 points from sophomore Amani Wilborn, the Marquette University women's basketball team upset No. 2 seeded Creighton, 72-65, in the BIG EAST Conference Tournament Semifinals on Monday afternoon at the Al McGuire Center.
With the victory, No. 3 seed Marquette (24-7) clinches a spot in the conference title game for the first time since joining the BIG EAST prior to the 2005-06 campaign. The triumph over CU also marks the fifth time this season that head coach Carolyn Kieger's squad has knocked-off a top-25 ranked team.
Wilborn's performance of 21 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists comes on the heels of her first career double-double, a feat she accomplished in MU's tournament quarterfinal victory over Georgetown on Sunday. The Milwaukee, Wis., native was one of three Golden Eagles to eclipse double digit scoring figures in the contest, as All-BIG EAST First Team representative Allazia Blockton scored 19 points and grabbed 7 boards, while Dani King turned in another solid effort at the point, finishing with 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Marquette took control of the game early in the fourth quarter with a 9-1 run to extend its lead to a game-high 11 points at 62-51. Blockton ignited the run by knocking down a pair of jumpers, while Wilborn added a layup and mid-range jumper of her own to cap the run. Following this stretch, Creighton was never able to shrink the MU advantage below five points.
For the second consecutive game, Marquette was able to dominate on the inside, posting 46 points in the paint compared to just 26 from the Bluejays. MU was also able to eliminate Creighton's transition attack, outscoring CU on the break, 22-0.
For Creighton (23-7), the loss to Marquette snaps an eight game winning streak, and is the program's first falter to the MU since March 2014. Junior Sydney Lamberty posted an impressive stat line for head coach Jim Flanery's side, tallying career-highs with 26 points and 15 rebounds. The 26 point effort was the second-highest output by a CU player this season, but it was not enough to lift Creighton as no other Bluejay reached double figures in scoring on the afternoon.
Next up for Marquette is the BIG EAST Tournament Championship Game against No. 1 seed DePaul on Tuesday at 8 p.m. Central time at the Al McGuire Center.