COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) – Natisha Hiedeman scored 13 points, Allazia Blockton had 12 and five-seed Marquette overcame a nine-point fourth quarter deficit to get a 58-54 win over No. 12 Rice in overtime in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday.
The Golden Eagles (27-7), who are in the tournament for the third straight season, will play the winner of the Wright State-Texas A&M game.
Amani Wilborn made a jumper with 3 1/2 minutes left in overtime to put Marquette up 54-52 and extend its run to 11-0. Blockton extended the lead to 4 with a shot with just over a minute to go.
The Owls (28-4) ended a scoring drought of about seven minutes stretching back to the fourth quarter when Erica Ogwumike made a basket with 51 seconds left.
But Hiedeman made two free throws with 1.3 seconds remaining to make it 58-54 and secure the victory.
The Owls had a nine-point lead after a jump shot by Ogwumike with about three minutes left in the fourth. Marquette then scored the next nine points to tie it at 52-all with a minute remaining. Blockton had a 3-pointer in that stretch and tied it with a jump shot after a turnover by Rice.
Mulkey missed two shots on one possession for the Owls after that but she blocked a 3-point attempt by Hiedeman on the other end to leave it tied.
Rice had a chance to win it in regulation, but Shani Rainey’s 3-pointer clanged off the rim sending the game to OT
The Owls, who were in the tournament for the first time since 2005, got 22 points from Ogwumike in the loss, which snapped a 21-game winning streak. The Owls got 18 points, nine rebounds and five blocks from Mulkey , the 6-foot-9 C-USA defensive player of the year.
Rice had a 3-point lead before a 6-2 run, with four points from Ogwumike , made it 48-41 with 4 1/2 minutes left.
The Owls led by 2 entering the fourth and pushed the lead to 40-35 when Ogwumike opened the quarter with a 3-pointer. Marquette scored the next four points, with layups from Danielle King and Natisha Hiedeman , to get within 40-39 with just less than eight minutes to go.
Rice scored the next four points, with a jump shot from Mulkey , to extend its advantage to 44-39 with about 5 1/2 minutes remaining.
Rice: Has a lot to look forward to with a young roster that will return many players from this team which set a school record for wins.
Marquette: Will have to have its young players step up next season as the Golden Eagles lose three senior starters.