Chanise Jenkins scored a career-high 19 points, grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds, and handed out a team-high eight assists to lead DePaul past Hampton, 86-67, Monday night at McGrath-Phillips Arena.
Jenkins played a near mirror image in the two halves, scoring seven first half points to go with five rebounds.
“[The two good halves] was coach Bruno keeping me grounded,” said Jenkins. “He was always yelling at me ‘we need more energy’ and I was like ‘how much more energy can I give?” And I thought I would just keep playing hard, with him keeping me in the moment and focused on the game at hand.”
DePaul’s 87 points was the second highest by a Hampton opponent this year. The Lady Pirates had been giving up an average of 66.7 ppg, including just 69 points in a loss to No. 1/1 South Carolina last week. Hampton was No. 16 in the country in scoring defense in 2013 at just over 57.0 ppg and led the nation in scoring defense in 2012 at 47.8 ppg.
Jenkins scored DePaul’s first five points, including a 25-foot bomb from the right wing as the Blue Demons jumped out to an 15-5 lead. The Lady Pirates were held scoreless for the game’s first four minutes.
Hampton had been defending three-point field goals at a 28.2 percent pace, but DePaul shot 40 percent from behind the line tonight on a 10-25 effort. Jenkins was 3-3 and Megan Rogowski (12 points) was 2-5 from behind the line.
Hampton (3-8) coach David Six said after the South Carolina game that the Gamecocks wore his team down, and tonight was no different.
“This is a team-type of game and we try to make our pressure constant, and I think it just wears on people,” said DePaul coach Doug Bruno.
DePaul (8-4) forced 18 turnovers and had 10 steals.
The Lady Pirates leading scorer, Malia Tate-DeFreitas, did not score her first basket until midway through the first half. She finished with a game-high 22 points.
DePaul was up 29-28 with 3:08 left in the first half before going on a 9-2 run in 45 seconds as a result of three lay ups and a three-pointer by Brittany Hrynko (19 points and six assists). Hampton finished the half on a 5-2 spurt to trail 40-35 at the break.
The Blue Demons scored a season-low 64 points in a loss to No. 2/2 UConn on Saturday, but the offense continued strong tonight in the second half, starting the final stanza on an 8-0 run to lead 48-35 at 16:58. The Lady Pirates closed to 48-40 on a free throw by Kenia Cole before two three-pointers by Jenkins stemmed the tide. A lay up by Jessica January pushed the Blue Demons’ lead to 70-58 at 7:32, and Hampton never got closer the rest of the game.
Jenkins was playing with a mask she has worn since sustaining the cut two weeks ago during the Chicago State game. She said the mask does not bother her while playing, though her play tonight did cause some positive push and pull between Bruno and her.
“Her Energizer Bunny was a little bit slower tonight than it normally is, so that is what I was peppering her about all night long,” said Bruno.
“Coach Bruno has always been there for his players. He is always telling you the truth, whether you like it or not, and that is something that will help you go a long way in life,” said Jenkins.
Megan Podkowa added 13 points and eight rebounds for DePaul. The Blue Demons got 18 bench points, including seven from Centrese McGee and five from Brandi Harvey-Carr.
DePaul’s four losses this year have come to opponents with a combined record of 40-4.
DePaul starts a four-game road trip on December 28, returning home on January 11 against BIG EAST foe Xavier.
Notes: Hampton has won 50 straight games in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and has been an NCAA Tournament selection the past five years... the two teams played once before, a 68-67 DePaul win in 2012 at the Paradise Jam Tournament.
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