DePaul (8-5) got 20 points from Chanise Jenkins and put four players in double figures, but fell to Loyola 88-75.
“The difference between a really good team and an average team is decimals,” said DePaul coach Doug Bruno.
The Blue Demons looked, for three quarters today, nothing like the team that upset Northwestern on Saturday night.
“I think we are back to third grade math, where you learn cancellation,” said Bruno. “We practiced our cancellations. We beat a great Texas A&M team and canceled that out against a good South Dakota State team that beat us. We beat a great Northwestern team the other day and we just canceled that out today.”
The Ramblers (3-7) shot 60.7 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-point range, 80 percent from the line, and outscored DePaul 48-28 in the paint.
Loyola is 7-122 when trailing at the half since the 2006 season, and the first quarter seemed par for that course.
DePaul’s Megan Podkowa hit her first attempted shot today, a 3-pointer from the left wing for a 7-2 DePaul lead. Podkowa was named the ESPNW National Player of the Week earlier today. She finished with 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds tonight. DePaul led 22-19 after the first quarter.
And then the decimals started to narrow.
A 3-pointer by Brandi Segars was part of an 18-2 Loyola run and the Ramblers led 30-22 midway through the second quarter. Loyola shot 63 percent (12-23) from the field up until that point.
“Loyola did a great job of taking the game to us,” Bruno said. “We put ourselves in a position to get the game early and we let them come back and believe they could win. Once you have a team that believes it can win, they do.”
Jessica January’s steal and layup then keyed an 8-0 run by DePaul and tied the game at 30 with 5:33 to play in the half.
The Ramblers then ran off 11 straight points, with DePaul shooting 0-11 from the field and not scoring in the final 5:33 to trail 41-30 at the half. The 30 points is a DePaul season-low for first half points.
Loyola mounted its largest lead of the game at 70-55 with 7:40 to play in the game. DePaul’s Brooke Schulte’s 3-pointer closed the gap to 72-68 with 4:28 to play, the closest the Blue Demons would get the rest of the way.
“Loyola is probably the best 2-7 team in America,” Bruno said. “I told our team that before the game. But that doesn’t matter. Every time you go out on the court you have to make it happen.”
DePaul opens Big East play on December 29th when they host Marquette at McGrath-Phillips Arena at 7 p.m. Central Time.
Notes: This was the 43rd meeting between the two teams. DePaul leads the series 33-10, and had not lost to the Ramblers in the prior 21 meetings.