Syracuse Upends No. 21 DePaul

CHICAGO- The DePaul Blue Demons could have used a trip in a time machine Tuesday night against the Syracuse Orange. But even that may not have been enough.

The Orange got 22 points from Rachel Coffey and 22 points and 15 rebounds from Carmen Tyson-Thomas to upset No. 21/18 DePaul 81-65 at McGrath-Phillips Arena.

This was only DePaul's (20-8, 8-6 Big East) second home loss this year.

The Orange (17-11, 6-8 Big East) were last in Lincoln Park two years ago, and DePaul then-freshman Anna Martin scored a career-high 31 points to help the Blue Demons beat Syracuse 74-71.

The key freshman tonight was wearing orange and black, not blue and white.

Coffey came into tonight's game averaging 3.6 ppg, but she shot 6-9 from behind the line.

Syracuse, fourth in the NCAA in rebounding at 46.1 per game, held just an 18-17 rebounding edge in the first half as the Orange led 38-37 at the break. Coffey was 4-6 from behind the arc in the first half. Syracuse ended up shooting 47 percent from three-point range (8-17) and outrebounding DePaul 44-37 for the game.

DePaul, coming off a win at West Virginia this past Saturday where it was down 14 points at the half only to open the second half on a 45-17 run, showed very little of that second half play tonight.

A layup by Martin (team-high 18 points) gave DePaul a 43-41 lead with 17:26 left, but the Orange then went on a 23-0 run to put the game away.

"You have to be able to understand the resolve necessary to come back from a great win at West Virginia and come and protect your home court," said DePaul coach Doug Bruno. "I did not think we had the maturity to do that tonight and I did not think we had it in the practice we had on Monday."

The closest DePaul would get from then on was 73-61 on a three-point play by Martin with 1:56 left.

"Our kids fought back and put themselves in a position to make a little run at the end, but the game was decided by our inability to make stops all night long, inside, on the perimeter and on the ball," said Bruno.

And with 26 years of collegiate coaching, Bruno is well aware that a coach has to find positives in a game like this one.

"The most important positive [from this game] is the understanding of the concept of a sense of urgency. It is NCAA tournament time and we are scrambling for our lives."

How well DePaul understands that concept could be answered this Saturday when the Blue Demons travel to No. 16/17 Louisville for a rematch with the Cardinals, a team they beat 86-61 earlier in the year.

DePaul is now tied with Louisville for sixth place in the Big East. Teams five through eight receive a first round bye in the Big East tournament, which commences on March 2.

The Blue Demons return to McGrath-Phillips Arena for the regular season finale with Senior Night against Cincinnati this Monday at 7:00 p.m. CST.


-Katherine Harry needs nine rebounds to tie Felicia Chester (751) for 17th place on DePaul's all-time career rebounding list.

- Tonight's game was part of National Girls and Women in Sports Day as DePaul University honored its female student-athletes and Spirit Squads at halftime.

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