"Winning at DePaul is always about three things: our great administration, great assistant coaches throughout the years and most important, it is about the players," Bruno said.
This win was in doubt for one half of play.
"Northern did a really great job of sagging off in the paint on defense [in the first half]," Martin said. "We are such a great three-point shooting team, that when you see that, you get a little anxious instead of moving the ball and looking for a better shot."
No. 21/19 DePaul shot 1-12 from behind the arc in the first half and trailed 25-22 at the break. This was the second time this year the Blue Demons have trailed at the half and the 22 points are a first half season-low.
Martin's two free throws with forty five second left in the first half made her the 27th 1,000 point scorer in DePaul history.
Keisha Hampton, returning after missing three games due to an injury, entered the game at the 15:11 mark and scored on a turnaround jumper from the baseline to pass Mfon Udoka and move into 11th place on DePaul's all-time scoring list.
The first five minutes of the second half erased any doubts.
"We came out really flat to start the second half," said NIU coach Kathi Bennett. "They are a little bit bigger than us and they wore us down a little bit. Our energy, our fire and our alertness were definitely off. We took quick shots, which killed us in transition, and they got transition baskets because of our lack of discipline on the offensive end."
DePaul (13-2, 1-0 Big East) began the half on a 14-0 run, surging to a 36-25 lead.
"I was really excited about the way our team came out in the second half and defended to start the second half," said Bruno. "We let our defense dictate our offense and that is where the game really turned."
Martin sank a three-pointer to start the half. NIU then turned the ball over. Then Martin scored on a lay up. Another NIU turnover. Martin then with two free throws. Another NIU turnover. Martin then assisted to Katherine Harry (game-high 16 rebounds) for a three-point play.
"Martin can step back, get to the rim and pass it," said Bennett. "She is an outstanding player and she took advantage of us."
And with injuries to Maureen Mulchrone, Taylor Pikes, Chanise Jenkins and Alexa Gallagher, DePaul needed every bit of Martin's 30 points.
"I think you saw Anna play one of her better collegiate games today," said Bruno. "She really did a great job for us offensively and that is what she has been doing since she has been [at DePaul]. It's even more important that she stepped up offensively [with all of our injuries]."
"[Coach Bruno] has helped me so much along the way," said Martin. "I have had a lot of college growing pains and I am really happy for his 500th win."
Perhaps Bruno said it best about his team's accomplishment: "It's one win in a row 500 times."
NIU (6-6) was led by Satavia Taylor's eight points.
Big East play resumes for DePaul as it travels to play No. 15/16 Georgetown on January 3 at 6:00 p.m. CST.
- DePaul's 10 blocked shots ties for third-best in school history.
- DePaul's last loss to NIU was in 1994.
- DePaul has now won 17 straight against Illinois teams.
DePaul's Bruno Wins No. 500, Martin Nets 30
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