DePaul Women Upset No. 11 Louisville

CHICAGO- DePaul women's basketball coach Doug Bruno singled out Anna Martin and Brittany Hrynko at half time of Saturday's game versus Louisville. It most likely was not pretty.

"I sat them down in front of me and went at both of them," said Bruno. "Both of them are big-time guards and big-time guards have to play in big-time games."

Martin responded with 17 of her 22 points in the second half and and Hrynko added 21 points as DePaul beat the No. 11/10 Cardinals 86-80 at McGrath-Phillips Arena in the Big East opener for both teams.

The Cardinals (12-3, 0-1 Big East) were holding opponents to an average of 47.1 ppg and had won their last four games by an average of 61 points. Louisville tied a school record in its last game for least points allowed by an opponent in an 88-25 win over Tennessee State.

DePaul's 41 first half points and 86 total points are season highs by a Louisville opponent.

The Blue Demons (12-3, 1-0 Big East) were coming off a week that saw freshmen Brooke Schulte and Brandi Harvey-Carr lost for the season with a torn ACL and a neck injury, respectively. DePaul dressed seven players for tonight's game.

"You define yourself by what you do against the highest level of competition," said Bruno. "When you have the opportunity to play Top 10 teams on your home court, you have to seize that opportunity."

And that opportunity was available in the first half, then faded, then showed itself strongly in the second half, and finally held on.

DePaul opened the second half on an 11-2 run, including Martin's three-pointer for a 55-48 lead with 15:48 to play. Martin moved in to ninth place all-time at DePaul in scoring and, with her four assists, she moved into ninth place in assists.

Jasmine Penny (15 points on 6-6 field goal shooting) picked up her fourth foul with 15:17 left to play, and what could have turned into a lost opportunity for DePaul instead saw freshman Megan Podkowa emerge with a rebound after a furious back and forth scrum under the Louisville basket with 13:29 left.

The teams combined for 45 turnovers.

The Louisville bench was then assessed a technical foul and Martin's two free throws gave the Blue Demons a 57-48 lead.

"One of the places where we can grow is the fine line between Anna and Brittany being aggressive to score and identifying when the opponent has stacked the box against them and they have to pass it to their teammates with the simple pass," said Bruno.

Another lesson learned.

Hrynko fed Podkowa underneath, and then Martin assisted on Podkowa's 12-footer to boost DePaul's lead to 67-56 with 10:08 remaining.

DePaul is fifth in Division I with 19.6 assists per game. The Blue Demons recorded 22 assists tonight.

Martin's three-pointer gave DePaul its biggest lead at 70-56 with 9:37 remaining, but then it was fading opportunity time.

Wade Watch and Wooden Watch candidate Shoni Schimmel (19 points) hit a jumper and then a layup.

DePaul answered with a jumper by Martin and a layup by Penny to gain an 80-70 advantage with just under five minutes left.

Schimmel then got even hotter.

Her back to back three-pointers, and a layup by Monique Reid (game-high 25 points) cut DePaul's lead to 80-78 with with 1:07 left.

Martin answered with a scoop layup and Hrynko went 4-4 from the line in the last thirty seconds.

DePaul led 36-31 in the first half before Louisville closed the half on an 11-5 run.

Martin, Hrynko, and freshman Chanise Jenkins combined for 53 points, 14 assists and eight steals.

Hrynko spoke about the trio, which is emerging as one of the better back courts in the Big East.

"Anna and I have more of a togetherness, but Chanise also plays like me. It's like we're sisters."

Sisters in a big game.

"The win was a great feeling and it kind of brought me back to that Stanford moment [a 91-71 win versus No. 3 Stanford in 2010]," said Martin.

DePaul travels to play at Villanova on Wednesday at 6:00 CST.

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