Anna Martin, a junior, scored a career-high 36 points to lead DePaul to a 73-51 win over Cincinnati in the Blue Demons' regular season finale at McGrath-Phillips Arena on Monday night.
The win clinches eighth place for DePaul (21-9, 9-7 Big East) in the final conference standings.
Martin set a new Big East conference single game scoring record for this season.
DePaul, losers of its last two games needed, in DePaul coach Doug Bruno's words, "to find an offensive rhythm."
Martin was both rhythm and melody.
She shot 15-19 from the floor, was 2-3 from behind the arc, 4-4 from the line and was a relentless finisher.
"I felt that my teammates did a great job of getting me the ball," said Martin. "I try to run the floor and I think I got a lot of transition baskets from that. We talked as a team about setting good screens and getting each other open and I just happened to be the one who hit those shots."
The Blue Demons, playing without injured seniors Keisha Hampton, Taylor Pikes and Maureen Mulchrone, were absent any kind of songwriting in the first half. Martin scored 18 of her team's 29 first half points.
The Bearcats (15-14, 6-9 Big East), winners over Syracuse and Providence, two teams DePaul has lost to, got eight points from leading scorer Dayeesha Hollins to trail by just seven at the break.
Cincinnati tied the score at 29 with two minutes gone by in the second half when DePaul freshman Megan Rowgowski added fuel to Martin's fire.
Rogowski, coming off an impressive 11-point effort in the loss to Louisville on Saturday, hit a three-pointer and then fed Jasmine Penny (12 points on 5-5 shooting) on a back door cut to push DePaul out to a 39-30 lead.
She then had a steal and fed Martin for a lay up to spark a 12-0 DePaul run, hitting another three-pointer during that run, to move DePaul out for good at 51-33.
"Megan gave us a great lift off the bench tonight in the second half," said Bruno. "She did a great job of coming in and doing what she does: hit some three's. She also read real well with the screen and roll and the backdoor cuts. Those were some beautiful basketball plays."
And the career nights were not yet finished.
Katherine Harry provided another solid effort in the post, scoring 10 points, grabbing a game-high 16 rebounds, and dishing out a career-high six assists. This was Harry's seventh double double this year.
Deanna Ortiz, the lone senior healthy enough to play, went scoreless in 24 minutes of play, but she added two assists, two steals and one blocked shot. "Deanna has done a great job this year of stepping in and stepping up in light of all the injuries," said Bruno.
DePaul receives a first round bye in the Big East tournament and will play the winner of the Pittsburgh/South Florida game on March 3 at 1:00.
Martin is Majestic in DePaul Win
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