Chanise Jenkins scored a team-high 19 points, but DePaul scored a season-low in points, falling to Villanova 64-60 on Sunday afternoon.
DePaul coach Doug Bruno said after his team’s win Fri. night against Georgetown, that for today’s game “[DePaul] was not here to win the battle of tempo; we’re here to win the game.”
But DePaul (12-6, 4-1 Big East), averaging 82.6 ppg, did neither, as the Blue Demons led for just 5:43 today. The score was tied three times and there were 13 lead changes.
“This is the kind of game where we have to play possession by possession basketball, and they out-possessioned us,” said Bruno. “I thought on the offensive side of the ball we really struggled scoring today for a good scoring team. I did not think we got any kind of flow going offensively.”
DePaul shot 22-57 (38.6 percent) from the field, but managed only 11 assists.
The Blue Demons’ Megan Podkowa is averaging 15.9 ppg, but she tied her lowest output for a game this year with four points. She shot 1-8 from the field and did not score her first field goal until 7:44 of the fourth quarter, cutting Villanova’s lead to 48-45.
“They did a great job of making us come over the top,” said Bruno. “We didn’t identify that well enough and make shots over the job. We attacked the basket and there was nothing there at the basket.”
DePaul’s Ashton Millender took a feed from Brooke Schulte to give the Blue Demons their first lead of the game, 23-22 midway through the second quarter.
Villanova (10-6, 4-2) came in leading the Big East in 3-pointers made per game at 11, with DePaul second at 8.5 per game. But both teams struggled from behind the arc today, with the Wildcats shooting 3-15 (20 percent) and the Blue Demons shooting 3-19 (15.8 percent). This was DePaul’s lowest 3-point percentage this year, surpassing the 5-28 (17.9 percent) it shot against Baylor.
The Wildcats’ Caroline Coyer scored a season-high 25 points to lead Villanova. Her 3-pointer with 6:02 left in the game gave Villanova a 53-45 lead. Jenkins answered with a 3-pointer with 4:58 to play, but DePaul did not score again until Jenkins’ layup with 51 seconds left, cutting Villanova’s lead to 59-52. Jenkins’ 3-pointer with 10 seconds left cut the lead to 63-60, but Katherine Coyer made one of two free throws for the final tally.
Bruno and Villanova coach Harry Perretta have a record of 1292-748 in 68 combined years of coaching at their respective schools.
DePaul leads the series 11-4. This was the first time in eight attempts that Villanova has beaten DePaul in Chicago.
Podkowa was honored before the game for going over the 1,000 point mark at DePaul on November 13 versus Southern Illinois.