DePaul Women Turn Back Marquette

CHICAGO - The DePaul women's basketball team had woven a strong tapestry with its four game win streak. That tapestry unraveled a little bit Wednesday night, but not enough to halt the streak.

DePaul (16-5, 7-2 BIG EAST) put five players in double figures and got a career-high 10 assists from Chanise Jenkins as it defeated Marquette 91-85 at McGrath-Phillips Arena.

"The reason we have won twelve out of the last fourteen games is because we have been really strong defensively, we have rebounded the ball well as an undersized team, and we have really been playing with offensive intelligence," said DePaul coach Doug Bruno. "And tonight we had some great possessions and we had some possessions where we did not [do those three things] in order for us to keep getting better."

Those great possessions were evident with the score tied at 21 at 8:45, and they followed some not so great possessions as Marquette's Cristina Bigica scored 11 points up to that point.

Jasmine Penny's basket sparked a 9-0 DePaul run over the next four minutes. Bigica's free throw with six seconds left cut the lead to 47-35 before Brittany Hrynko (game-high 20 points) took the inbounds pass, drove the length of the floor, stopped, slipped and then hit a three-pointer from the right wing at the buzzer to give the Blue Demons their largest first half lead at 50-35.

Bigica, averaging 5.8 ppg, ended the first half with 17 points, breaking her career-high of 15 points. She finished with 19 points.

DePaul's 50 first half points is the highest total given up by Marquette in a first half this year. Marquette (13-6, 4-4 BIG EAST) had been averaging 16.4 turnovers per game and its 28 turnovers tonight was a season-high.

The Blue Demons ability to rebound the ball during their win streak unraveled tonight, with Marquette out rebounding DePaul 52-29, the 52 being the second highest rebounding total by a Blue Demon opponent this year. Marquette leads the BIG EAST in rebounding margin at +12.9 per game.

Marquette's Katherin Plouffe came into tonight's game as the leading scorer in the BIG EAST at 18.9 ppg and the second leading rebounder at 10.3 per game.

Plouffe went scoreless and without a rebound in the first half. She scored her first points at 19:34 of the second half. She finished with the game's only double-double of 11 points and 11 boards.

Penny picked up her third foul at 17:22. Marquette then closed to 53-46 before DePaul took off on a 17-7 run. Consecutive three-pointers by Megan Rogowski (19 points, 5-8 from beyond the arc) and Megan Podkowa (11 points) boosted the DePaul lead to 59-48. Podkowa's soft jump hook from the baseline made it 61-48 and a Kelsey Reynolds' three-pointer made it 70-53.

Rogowski's back-to-back three-pointers gave DePaul its largest lead of the game at 76-57 with 9:50 left to play.

And then the defensive problems set in.

Marquette's 12-2 run ended with a three-point play by Chelsea Butler and it was 78-69 at 7:40. Jenkins assist to Hrynko gave her a career-high and DePaul led 85-76. Plouffe's layup cut the lead to 85-78 with 1:23 remaining.

"Loss of focus was a little of the problem, but at the same time our lack of defense and knowing that Marquette was trying to get the ball to Plouffe because she had not scored that much in the first half I think is where we lacked a lot of our defensive pressure," said Jenkins.

DePaul shot 6-12 from the free throw line in the last two minutes. The Blue Demons shot 22-39 (56.4 percent) from the line for the night, their second lowest percentage this year.

Hrynko's 1,114 career points moves her into 26th all-time in scoring at DePaul. Rogowski's 152 three-pointers places her tenth all-time.

DePaul travels to play Providence this Saturday at 1:00 p.m. CST.


- DePaul leads the series 37-22.

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