Megan Rogowski scored a career-high and game-high 22 points to lead DePaul to an 89-61 win over the previously undefeated Northwestern Wildcats at McGrath-Philips Arena in DePaul coach Doug Bruno's 800th game coaching in his career.
The Blue Demons were coming off a 46-point effort against South Carolina in a loss at the Paradise Jam Tournament, its lowest point output since scoring 44 points in a loss to Connecticut on January 21, 2012.
DePaul (6-2) scored 48 points in the first half today.
Rogowski was 10-37 including 4-19 from three-point range in this season's first six game. She shot 5-11 from the field and had a team-high 13 points against South Carolina.
She blamed her early season shooting woes more on psychology than any kind of shooting mechanics. Rogowski did tonight what she did at Hersey High Scool and what led her to being one of the best three-point shooters in the country while in high school.
"Coach and all of my teammates keep saying ‘keep shooting and the shots will fall' and that's what I kept doing," she said.
With this year's Hersey team attending the game, Rogowski did not disappoint.
Her three-pointer at the 8:55 mark of the first half ignited a 17-4 DePaul run, and her shot was followed on consecutive possessions with three-pointers by Anna Martin (12 points) and Brittany Hrynko (17 points and six assists) to give DePaul a 29-14 lead.
Rogowski finished 8-15 from the field including 4-9 from behind the arc.
"[Megan's] skill set is very similar to Maggie Lucas [All-American at Penn State]," said Bruno. "That is who we have asked Megan to pattern her game after. We sent her home with a tape this summer of Lucas. This is what I expected to see every night this season."
DePaul shot 43 percent from the field, had 23 assists, and outrebounded the Wildcats 51-38.
"I didn't think that we played close to our best basketball this season against two really good teams, Dayton and South Carolina," said Bruno. "This week we worked on our attitude and our effort along with executing the simple functions of basketball."
Hrynko's back-to-back 24-footers gave the Blue Demons their biggest lead at 81-47 with 6:48 left to play.
The two teams were a combined 0-7 from the field, Northwestern was 0-2 from the line, and the teams combined for three turnovers in the game's first two minutes.
Chanise Jenkins rounded out the stellar effort by DePaul's back court.
"Sometimes there is a player in the game that does not pop out in the box score, and yet Chanise had an awfully important impact on the game today," said Bruno.
Jenkins had a line of four points, five rebounds, and six assists, but her learning curve has continued to accelerate as she becomes more comfortable in playing the point after missing last season with a foot injury.
"I benefited from being out last year but at the same time it was psychologically difficult," said Jenkins. "You are sitting there on the bench learning and seeing where everything fits. Coming back this year I knew what had to be done."
Jenkins is second in assists this year among Big East players with 4.6 per game.
"Somebody asked me this week if I was concerned about our three-point shooting percentage and I said I was concerned about our post game," said Bruno. "Until tonight, nobody really had to guard the post because it wasn't really a factor."
Jasmine Penny scored 13 points and Katherine Harry notched her third double-double this year with 11 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Penny was second in the Big East last year in field goal percentage and Harry was the Big East's leading rebounder.
But it may be the play of Kelsey Smith that helps Penny and Harry become even more effective this year.
Smith, a transfer from Michigan State who sat out last year, scored eight points, grabbed six rebounds and had one blocked shot in 19 minutes of play.
"Kelsey did some good stuff for us tonight, but I think that is only scratching the surface for her as she begins to get comfortable with the role of [what we do at DePaul]." said Bruno.
Bruno put his 800th game of coaching in his usual, pragmatic perspective.
"It is one game at a time, but there is always a connection from one game to the next."
The DePaul/Northwestern series dates back to 1975. From 1975-1983, Northwestern won nine straight games and 10 of the last 11. The two teams resumed play against one another in 1994. From 1999-2008 DePaul won 10 straight and 12 of the last 13. DePaul leads the series 16-14.
Maggie Lyon led the Wildcats (6-1) with 15 points.
DePaul plays No. 9/8 Kentucky this Friday in Lexington at 6:00 CST. The game will be carried on the FSN South television network.
- DePaul's Kelsey Reynolds and Megan Podkowa did not dress for today's game.
- Deirdre Naughton, Deanna Ortiz, and Taylor Pikes from DePaul's 2010 Sweet Sixteen team were in attendance.
Rogowski Leads DePaul in Bruno's 800th Game
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