Martin, Harry Ignite No. 22 DePaul

CHICAGO- One of the best ways to break up a logjam is to use dynamite. Hit the plunger, Anna Martin and Katherine Harry.

Martin scored a game-high 24 points and Harry tied her career-high with 20 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as No. 22 DePaul beat Villanova 79-73 Wednesday night at McGrath-Phillips Arena.

Both teams had been tied for eighth place in the Big East at 5-5.

Villanova's Laura Sweeney did everything she could to help the Wildcats win, but in the end her team gave up the most points to date this season, surpassing the 76 points No. 3 Connecticut scored against them (15-9, 5-6).

Sweeney, 10th in Big East scoring at 14.9 ppg and guarded by Harry, scored nine points in the first 3:30 of the game and finished the first half with 19 points.

"Katherine just hunkered down after we had to give her some seat time," said DePaul coach Doug Bruno. "I thought she did a lot better job after getting some time to watch her from the bench. Also, Brittany [Hrynko] did a real good job all game of finessing and helping on Sweeney."

Sweeney scored three points in the second half to finish with a team-high 22 points.

Martin, who turned 21 today, was at her basketball wizardy best tonight. She shot 9-14 from the field and 5-6 from the line.

She scored 11 first half points including a left-handed, fade-away hook shot off a spin move in the lane to help DePaul gain a 40-38 advantage at the break.

Villanova had been 10-0 this year when leading at the half.

The rigors of Big East play have yet to leave their mark on Martin.

"The past two years around this time I always felt a little drained and I would get down a little bit," Martin said. "This year I am just trying to stay positive, and I feel pretty good both physically and emotionally."

DePaul (18-7, 6-5) pushed out to its largest lead of the game at 58-48 on a jumper by Jasmine Penny (12 points, three assists) with 12:19 left only to see Villanova climb to within 69-67 with just over three minutes remaining.

Harry, who averaged 15.6 ppg and 14 rebounds over the past three games and was named to this week's Big East honor roll, converted a lay up off an assist from Hrynko to give DePaul a 73-69 lead with 1:47 left.

Over these past four games, Harry says it has been her eyes that have made her a better rebounder.

"I am seeing the ball better and that is something that the coaching staff has been preaching to me, that you rebound with your eyes."

Harry's 14 rebounds tie her with Caprice Smith for eighth place on DePaul's career rebounding list.

Both teams are tied for first in the Big East regarding three-pointers made per game with 8.3.

Villanova kept true to that, shooting 62 percent (5-8) from behind the arc in the first half and 9-24 for the game. DePaul shot 5-15 from behind the arc for the game.

Following Harry's basket, a block by Deanna Ortiz on a three-point attempt by Rachel Roberts led to Martin and Harry shooting six for six from the free throw line in the last thirty six seconds to secure the win.

Continuing with a roster of seven players who see floor time, Hrynko has emerged as steady point guard playing voluminous minutes as a freshman. Her nine rebounds tonight are a career-high. With her five assists, she has notched five or more assists in the last four games.

"Brittany is running the team better," said Bruno. "She did a nice job of steadying the team tonight and being a floor general."

DePaul stays home to play Marquette this Sunday at 1:30 p.m. CST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 as part of the network's February Frenzy in preparation for NCAA tournament coverage. DePaul hosts the first round and second round of this year's tournament at Allstate Arena on March 17 and March 19.


- Martin this week was added to the mid-season State Farm Wade Watch list.

- Martin needs three points to tie Deirdre Naughton for 22nd place on DePaul's career scoring list.

- DePaul now leads the series 7-1.

- This was Villanova coach Harry Perretta's 1,000 collegiate game. He is only the seventh coach in Division 1 to win 600 games at one school.

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