No. 21 DePaul Squeaker Stretches Streak

CHICAGO- DePaul's Anna Martin and Katherine Harry knew what time it was Saturday night. And so did teammate Megan Rogowski.

Anna Martin scored a game-high 29 points, Harry grabbed key rebounds late and Rogowski did what she does best as No. 21/19 DePaul defeated Pittsburgh 86-83 in Big East play at a near-sold out McGrath-Phillips Arena.

The win stretches DePaul's home win streak to 28 games, second longest in school history and the second longest current streak in the Big East behind Connecticut's 93-game streak.

The video screen on the new scoreboard at McGrath-Phillips Arena played an introduction video tonight of Harry asking "what time is it?" and Martin responding "it's game time."

DePaul, which had its six-game win streak snapped last Saturday at Providence, which has lost senior All-America Keisha Hampton for the season, and which learned Friday that senior Taylor Pikes is finished for the season with a lingering ACL injury, "game time" has taken on a more urgent meaning for the eight players left on the squad.

And like Martin and Harry in that video, the team played call and respond tonight.

Rogowski, off the bench at 15:01 of the first half and with Pitt leading 12-4, drained a three from the right corner, took a charge in the lane and assisted on Deanna Ortiz's back door cut and layup.

"We are really limited with the number of people we have and coach [Bruno] told us before the game that Kelsey [Reynolds], Karima [Gabriel] and I needed to step up coming off the bench," Rogowski said.

Martin's jumper gave DePaul a 43-41 half time lead and gave the fans an indication of what the final twenty minutes would be like.

And for DePaul, it was more call and respond, including from its coach.

The Panthers started the second half on a 14-6 run and opened up a 55-47 lead.

DePaul coach Doug Bruno then responded with a 2-3 zone.

"I knew we would have problems [with the injuries], so you try different things," Bruno said. "You go zone, you try another zone. You have to try and pull things out of your hat."

A three-point play by Jasmine Penny (13 points, seven rebounds) cut the lead to 55-50.

And then, more Rogowski.

Back to back three-pointers from the right corner gave DePaul a 64-60 lead with twelve minutes to play. Another three with just over ten minutes left helped DePaul to a 70-66 lead.

"We talked about it before the game," Bruno said. "[I told] Megan that she could not go out there being a tentative freshman anymore. She needed to have the same mentality she had at Hersey [high school] last year."

Rogowski finished with 15 points, four rebounds and three assists.

A three-pointer by Reynolds' (eight points on 3-4 shooting) gave the Blue Demons a 77-68 lead.

"Kelsey's skill set is very similar to that of Sam Quigley (no. 2 all-time in assists at DePaul)," Bruno said. "I keep trying to remind Kelsey of that. We brought Kelsey Reynolds [to DePaul] to do what she did tonight."

A three-pointer from Brittany Hrynko (11 points, three assists) gave DePaul its largest lead with 82-70 with just over six minutes left.

"[With the season-ending injury to point guard Chanise Jenkins] we did not expect Brittany to run the whole thing by herself, and that is a lot for a freshman," Bruno said. "She has done a magnificent job. She is getting better with every game."

Two three-pointers from Pitt's Abby Dowd (7-11 from behind the arc) found Pitt down 82-80 with with four minutes left.

After a lay up by Ashlee Anderson (19 points) sliced DePaul's lead to 84-83 with 1:48 left, it was Harry (nine rebounds) who responded.

"For the 19th ranked team in the nation we have been the meekest, weakest, softest rebounding team in the country," said Bruno.

Not for the last one minute of this game, they weren't.

Harry missed a 15-footer, but grabbed her own rebound. A miss by Hrynko on the same possession was again rebounded by Harry.

Martin's two free throws provided the final margin of victory as Anderson's three from the right corner glanced off the rim and was rebounded by Harry with one second left.

DePaul (15-3, 3-1 Big East) travels to South Florida (9-8, 1-2, Big East) this Tuesday before returning home to face No. 3/3 Connecticut in front of a sold-out crowd at McGrath-Phillips Arena next Saturday at 7:00 p.m. CST.

Pitt falls to 8-10, 0-5 Big East. The Panthers were led by Dowd's 23 points.

This game was part of Autism Awareness Day. The DePaul sorority, Alpha Xi Delta, approached the women's basketball team about using tonight's game as a springboard to bring awareness about the disease.

"It's a great cause," Bruno said. "You get to work with the autism people and see how diligent they are and how organized they are at working to find a cause [for autism]. Those are the kinds of places where you want to try and lend a helping hand."

Notes:

- Harry, with two blocked shots tonight, needs 10 blocked shots to move into a tie with Felicia Chester (129 blocks) for No. 5 on DePaul's career blocked shots list.

- There are currently six Big East teams in the AP Top 25 poll.


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