No. 12 DePaul Upsets No. 8 West Virginia

CHICAGO - If the DePaul Blue Demons desire a theme song this year, they need listen no further than the McGrath Arena public address system. Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" was playing sixty minutes before game time, and that theme carried on during the 40 minutes of game time that followed.

DePaul, facing its second Top 10 team this year, dispatched #8 West Virginia in convincing fashion on Doug Bruno Court, beating the Mountaineers 78-55 before a sellout crowd on Sunday afternoon.

The Blue Demons (21-2, 8-0 Big East) remain tied with Connecticut for first place in the Big East. The two teams play each other this Saturday.

And while Saturday is the future, Sunday's game showed that DePaul, picked sixth in the Big East pre-season coaches' poll, is very much living in the present.

The Blue Demons answered a 4-0 deficit with a 24-4 run led by six points from Taylor Pikes and five points from Anna Martin and never again trailed the Mountaineers (19-3, 5-3 Big East).

"Give DePaul all the credit," said West Virginia coach Mike Carey. "They wanted it, they played harder, they were hungrier, and they went after it a lot harder than we did."

West Virginia had gone 64 straight games without back-to-back losses.

DePaul avenged a 47-41 loss to the Mountaineers last year.

"[West Virginia] really did job of schooling us last March in the Big East tournament quarter finals," said DePaul coach Doug Bruno. "I was not certain how our players were going to respond to how they physically manhandled us last March. I was very impressed with my players. They really responded well."

West Virginia, ranked ranked first in the country in points per game allowed at 47.2 per contest and ranked number two in the country in blocked shots with 7.0 per game, gave up over 70 points for the first time this year. The Mountaineers managed only one block while DePaul tallied three, the last garnering a technical foul.

The word "fearless" was used by Bruno concerning his team's game plan in upsetting then #3 ranked Stanford 91-71 earlier this year.

When asked about the team's mind set coming into this game, Pikes (15 points and eight rebounds) repeated the mantra: "Fearless. We talked in practice over the past few days about that and how [West Virginia] was ranked above us."

Bruno said that before Sunday's game the challenge from him to his players was "why should West Virginia have the market on intensity? One of the things that West Virginia does best is defend, rebound and get in your grill. Why can't we do that also? Our challenge was to match West Virginia's defense, rebounding and toughness."

And match it they did.

DePaul forced 24 turnovers, had 14 steals, outrebounded the Mountaineers 32-28 (18-11 on the offensive glass) and Pikes and Katherine Harry exemplified the toughness Bruno spoke about.

With 1:48 remaining and DePaul leading 74-53, a clean double block by Pikes and Harry on the Mountaineers' Brooke Hampton as Hampton attempted a shot from the baseline sent Hampton to the floor, a technical foul over to the West Virginia bench and the ball back over to DePaul.

West Virginia's leading scorer, Liz Repella, averaging 16 ppg, scored her first points with 13:10 left to play. She finished with nine points. Asya Bussie led the Mountaineers with 13 points. Keisha Hampton led DePaul with 16 points. Felicia Chester added 15 points on 7-8 shooting from the floor as the Blue Demons scored 44 points in the paint. Martin added 12 points and Sam Quigley scored 11.

DePaul is now 17-0 when scoring 70 points or more.

The Blue Demons and Connecticut start this Saturday at 1:00 CST.

Notes:

Prior to the game Quigley was given the ball used in the game versus Cincinnati when she scored her 1,000 career point.

Quigley is the 24th career 1,000 point scorer at DePaul


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