DePaul Falls to Seton Hall in Final Seconds

CHICAGO - The last seconds were a matter of three points to two points to one point.

DePaul’s Brittany Hrynko scored a game-high 29 points, including a go-ahead three-pointer with twelve seconds left, but the Blue Demons fell out of first place in the Big East as Seton Hall’s Ka-Deidre Simmons scored on a jumper with three seconds to play to beat DePaul 81-80 Friday night at McGrath-Phillips Arena.

“It happens often in basketball where a team scores [late in the game], so these players know that,” said DePaul coach Doug Bruno. “I asked after the game which one of our players had a chance to stop [Simmons] and four of the five players raised their hands.”

DePaul (19-7, 11-3) made a school record 17 three-pointers. Jessica January forced a turnover by Seton Hall’s Daisha Simmons on the Pirates’ baseline with sixteen seconds left. Hrynko then got the ball on the left wing, drove to the baseline, and launched the shot that put DePaul ahead 80-79. K. Simmons then drove the length of the floor, wriggled into the paint, and sank a five footer. Hrynko’s shot just inside halfcourt for the win hit the right side of the rim.

“It was a good shot but it means nothing since we lost,” said Hrynko.

“Hrynko showed why she is an All-America and she made two unbelievable plays at the end of the game,” said Seton Hall coach Anthony Bozzella.

Hrynko’s full court drive and lay up with eighteen seconds cut the Pirates’ lead to 79-77. But her near-heroics were offset by a strip of her at midcourt by D. Simmons with thirty-eight seconds left, and a subsequent layup by K. Simmons gave Seton Hall a 77-75 lead.

DePaul’s 17 three-pointers and 44 three-point attempts are Seton Hall opponent highs this year.

Seton Hall (22-3, 11-2) took its first lead of the game, 61-60, on a layup by Tabatha Richardson-Smith with 12:14 to play. That shot capped a 15-5 Pirates’ run, with DePaul shooting just 2-11 including two missed open lay ups during the run. Richardson-Smith finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds.

“Our looks are basically three-point looks and it has been really difficult to get any kind of inside game going since the [Megan Rogowski ACL] injury,” said Bruno.

DePaul shot 17-44 from behind the arc for the game. The Blue Demons were outscored 46-10 in the paint.

Chanise Jenkins’ (15 points and a team-high five assists) three-pointer from the right wing gave DePaul a 73-71 lead with 4:07 to play and ended a 2-19 DePaul shooting slump.

Bozzella told his team at the half, with DePaul leading 51-43, that if DePaul continued to play as well as it was, his team would struggle.

Hrynko’s three-pointer at 9:39 of the first half gave her 11 points and DePaul a 32-20 lead. She scored 11 points total in the first match up between the teams. A three-pointer by Jessica January at 7:04 capped a 19-4 DePaul run and upped the lead to 40-22. Seton Hall countered with a 9-0 run before DePaul answered with three-pointers from Brooke Schulte (eight points and eight rebounds) and Megan Podkowa (10 points and five rebounds) for a 46-31 lead. Hrynko has scored in double figures in her last 10 games.

The Blue Demons shot 13-25 from three-point range and 17-41 in the first half. Hrynko and D. Simmons each had 17 first half points. Seton Hall leads the BIG EAST in field goal percentage defense at 36.6 percent. DePaul shot 41.5 percent in the first half, but finished 33.8 percent (26-77) for the game.

DePaul plays St. John’s at home this Sunday at 1:00 CT.

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