Hrynko, Defense Help DePaul Conk Creighton

CHICAGO - It was a game of take away versus keep away between the DePaul Blue Demons and Creighton Bluejays Friday night.

Brittany Hrynko scored a game-high 27 points to lead four DePaul players in double figures as DePaul defeated Creighton, 96-71, at McGrath-Phillips Arena.

The Bluejays came into tonight’s game second in the country in turnovers per game at 10.9. DePaul forced 10 turnovers in the first half and 16 for the game.

DePaul (14-6, 6-2 BIG EAST) was coming off a loss at Seton Hall where it gave up 107 points.

“We had a tough night against Seton Hall, so it was important for our players to get our defensive intensity back,” said DePaul coach Doug Bruno. “I thought our players started the game with great energy and maintained it throughout the first half.”

Creighton (9-10, 2-6 BIG EAST) was held scoreless for the first five minutes of the game, finally scoring on a Jade Owens’ lay up as DePaul led 9-2 early. The Bluejays hit six of their next eight shots to close to 16-14 before Hrynko answered with a three-pointer from the left wing followed by a three-pointer by Lauren Prochaska from the right corner to boost DePaul’s lead to 22-14.

“Brittany had a little bit of a tough beginning, but she turned it around pretty quickly,” said Bruno. “I was proud of how she re-grabbed her own focus after a little bit of a slow start.”

Hrynko finished with 18 first half points on 7-12 shooting from the field. Her four three-pointers moves her into second place all-time at DePaul.

“I just stayed in the game and did not get mad at myself, just kept getting myself involved in the game,” said Hrynko.

Hrynko and Megan Podkowa, who played with a clear plastic face mask, guarded Creighton’s leading scorer Marissa Janning in the first half. Janning scored her average of 15.0 ppg, but had only two points on 1-5 shooting in the first half, not scoring that basket until 1:05 left. Janning’s free throw with 14:35 left in the game pushed her over the 1,300 career point mark.

DePaul’s Centrese McGee scored a career-high 10 points in the first half on 4-5 shooting from the field including 3-4 from behind the arc. Creighton closed to 24-20 on a lay up by Alexis Akin-Otiko, but a three-pointer by McGee and Hrynko’s three-point play ended that threat. DePaul closed the half on a 25-8 run.

Creighton freshman Sydney Lambert, the BIG EAST’s freshman of the week for four straight weeks, was held to eight points on 3-11 shooting.

The Bluejays gave up a season-highs of 38 field goals and 12 three-pointers, and DePaul’s 96 points ties with Connecticut for the most points Creighton has given up this year. The Blue Demons shot 42.9 percent from behind the arc. Creighton is second to last in Division I in three-point field goal defense at 40.6 percent.

DePaul had averaged 92.2 ppg in its last five games and has now scored 90+ points in 11 of its last 20 games. The Blue Demons are now 13-0 this year when leading at the half.

A three-pointer by Podkowa (10 points and a game-high nine rebounds) started DePaul on a 15-3 run to open the second half. Podkowa is second in the BIG EAST in field goal percentage at 60.4 percent and in three-point field goal percentage at 58.8 percent. She was 4-4 from the field and 1-1 from behind the arc.

Chanise Jenkins (16 points and five assists) followed with another three-pointer as the roof fell in and the floor gave way for Creighton. DePaul’s biggest lead was 37 points with just under five minutes to play.

Jessica January added nine points and a game-high six assists for DePaul. January leads the BIG EAST in assist/turnover ratio at 4.0, and her ratio tonight was 6.0.

DePaul senior Megan Rogowski was honored before tonight’s game with a basketball commemorating her 1,000th career point, which she scored on a three-pointer versus New Mexico in this season’s Maggie Dixon Classic. She currently ranks 27th all-time at DePaul with 1,144 career points. Rogowski tore her ACL earlier this month and is out for the year.

The Blue Demons stay home and play Providence this Sunday at 2:00 CT.


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