Anna Martin scored 12 of her game high 20 points in the second half and DePaul opened the half on a 13-0 run to help the Blue Demons beat Marquette 64-56 before a sell out crowd at McGrath Arena and keep DePaul tied for second place in the Big East.
Fans expecting blow outs similar to DePaul's games against Stanford and West Virginia at home saw nothing of the sort in the opening twenty minutes as DePaul (23-3, 10-1 Big East) and Marquette (19-5, 7-4 Big East) engaged in a first half struggle with the score tied four times and with 10 lead changes. Neither team led by more than six in the half and a 6-2 run by Marquette gave the Golden Eagles a 29-26 lead at the break.
DePaul tied its lowest first half point output this season.
"We did not play our best basketball game in the first half," DePaul coach Doug Bruno said. "Weaker people would have succumbed and maybe let the adversity of the first half get to us, but I think I am coaching a lot of strong people and I was very impressed with the resolve they came out with to start the second half."
The Blue Demons scored 13 points in the first 3:30 of the second half and Marquette was finished.
"We cannot come out like we did in the second half," Marquette coach Terri Mitchell said. "We always expect to come back, but we did not play well at all. DePaul ran at us, we gave up some transition baskets that we did not do in the first half. [DePaul] hit some quick ones and we never recovered."
Felicia Chester's (11 points on 5-6 shooting) three-point play 30 seconds into the second half was followed by a three pointer from the right wing by Sam Quigley, and after a Chester steal and fast break lay up by Martin, it was timeout Marquette.
"You can't have nine assists and 23 turnovers and think you are going to beat the number 10 team in the country," said Mitchell. "Their first couple of possessions were score, score, score and ours were turnover, turnover, turnover. That was the beginning of the end for us."
Quigley, just 1-5 from three point range in the first half, was 4-6 in the second half on her way to 15 points.
"I don't know that they defended me differently [in the second half]," Quigley said. "I think it was that we kept running our offense and we did not take the first shot that we got."
The Golden Eagles closed to 45-37 on a jumper by Jasmine Collins (team high 15 points) with 11:29 left, but a lay up by Deirdre Naughton and a three pointer from the right wing by Taylor Pikes extended the lead to 50-37.
Martin's jumper from the left wing at the 7:55 mark gave DePaul its biggest lead at 59-40.
DePaul's home win streak is now at 16 games. The Blue Demons have won their last five meetings with Marquette.
The Blue Demons continue their three game home stand playing Rutgers this Tuesday at 8:00 CST followed by Georgetown this Sunday at 4:30.
- This was DePaul's Pink Zone game to benefit the fight against breast cancer.
- Naughton was presented with her 1,000 point basketball before the game.