DePaul Drops Duke, Gains Sweet Sixteen Berth

DURHAM, NC - The Duke Blue Devils stayed at a hotel before their second round match up with DePaul in an effort to stay focused. Any dreams the Duke players may have had in that hotel about a trip to Nashville were turned into nightmares by DePaul Monday night.

Megan Rogowski scored a game-high 22 points and paced four DePaul players in double figures to help No. 7 seed DePaul defeat No. 2 seed Duke, 74-65, in round two of NCAA Tournament's Lincoln Regional at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

DePaul (29-6) had scored 100 points or more in two of its last three games, but it was clear early on that defensive pressure might override the need to reach the century mark in order to win.

The Blue Demons limited Duke's leading scorer Tricia Liston to 11 points, forced 21 turnovers, and had 12 steals.

"They were very aggressive defensively, they were up on top of our ball handlers, and we did not handle it very well," said Duke's Haley Peters. "We just got a little rattled by how aggressive and how much pressure they put on us, so we did not execute very well."

This game featured two of the top three-point shooters in the country in Liston and Rogowski. Liston ranks No. 1 at 48.9 percent and Rogowski No. 3 at 45.5 percent.

Liston did not score her first basket of the game, a layup, until 9:04 of the first half. She was held to a season-low two first half points. DePaul answered Liston's shot with a three-pointer by Brittany Hrynko followed by a Megan Podkowa three-pointer to give DePaul a 20-8 lead.

"I am not sure [Hrynko] is going to hit those shots again," said Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie. "There were three of them from about 30 feet. It was hard to extend and attack on her because she was so far out on those threes."

"Coach Bruno doesn't mind us taking three's as long as we defend and rebound," said Hrynko. Hrynko finished with 14 points, shooting 4-7 from behind the arc, and six assists.

DePaul made a season-high and NCAA Tournament school record high 14 three-pointers and finished shooting 42.4 percent from behind the arc. Rogowski was 6-12 from behind the arc and Megan Podkowa was 4-4 from that distance. Rogowski's school-record three-pointer total is now at 111.

"It was definitely frustrating [to watch DePaul make those three-pointers], but it's not like I don't take responsibility as well, especially if we are playing zone defense because I have to move just as much as the guards," said Duke post player Elizabeth Williams.

Williams, a three-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year, had the first of her seven blocked shots in the game's first two minutes. She finished with the game's only double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds, but just five offensive rebounds. She did help Duke outscore DePaul 40-16 in the paint.

"Our guards did a great job of digging on the ball and getting their hands on it and not letting the ball get in to the post that easily," said Podkowa, who guarded Williams. "Other than that, I was just trying to stay in front of [Williams] and the main focus was keeping her off the glass and making sure she was not getting offensive rebounds."

DePaul had its largest lead of the first half at 25-12 with 6:31 remaining. A Williams' jumper and layup cut the lead to the halftime score of 27-24, awakening the Cameron Crazies as the teams headed into their respective tunnels.

Duke's 24 first half points are a season-low.

DePaul had been 0-3 versus No. 2 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Demons lost to Duke, 70-63, in the Sweet Sixteen in 2011. Duke is now 20-6 all-time as a second seed.

Duke (28-7) grabbed its first lead of the game, 28-27, at 18:10 of the second half on a layup by Richa Jackson. The Blue Demons countered with a three-pointer by Podkowa, a steal by Jenkins off of full-court pressure and an assist on Podkowa's layup, and a three-pointer by Rogowski off a Jenkins' assist to give DePaul a 35-28 lead.

Jenkins finished with a game-high seven assists. DePaul had 19 assists on 24 field goals (79 percent). The Blue Demons are No. 3 in the country at 19.8 assists per game.

"The pressure was to not let Duke get any open looks or get a clean, full look at the basket," said Jenkins. "We were locking every screen and making sure [Liston] did not get off."

Liston was guarded by Hrynko and Jessica January for most of the game, and she finished with 11 points on 5-13 shooting from the field. Due to injuries to point guards Chelsea Gray and Alexis Jones, Liston has played point guard, and she was visibly frustrated by DePaul's pressure, committing a team-high six turnovers.

Duke is No. 2 nationally in three-point field percentage at 40.7, but shot just 33.3 percent (2-6) tonight.

Rogowski's three-pointer with 2:12 left to play boosted DePaul's lead to 67-57.

Liston, an 85.8 percent free-throw shooter, missed the front end of a one-and-one with 1:58 left. Duke shot 9-19 from the line (47.4 percent) tonight.

Jasmine Penny (11 points and six rebounds) then blocked Liston's shot before Liston misfired on a three-pointer with just under one minute left.

Jenkins' two free throws with twenty-six seconds left gave DePaul a 72-62 lead, as reality set in on Duke, and the Cameron Crazies became Cameron Quiet.

DePaul coach Doug Bruno said on Sunday "if we play our game right, we could make a game out of this."

The Blue Demons' dreamline continues on to Lincoln, Nebraska, this Saturday as they face the winner of Tuesday night's Texas A&M/James Madison game.

We Are DePaul Top Stories