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Big Three Help No. 21 DePaul Women Crush Creighton

CHICAGO - DePaul women’s basketball coach Doug Bruno has emphasized throughout the year how important it is for Chanise Jenkins, Megan Podkowa, and Jessica January to play well if DePaul is to play well. And tonight was no different on both counts. 

Podkowa and January each scored a team-high 16 points and Jenkins added 11 points and seven assists as No. 24/21 DePaul beat Creighton 81-63 Fri. night.

“Every single night all three of those players have to have their edge on, and I thought they did tonight,” Bruno said.

January’s steal, full-court drive and layup with 9:29 left in the game made her DePaul’s 34th 1,000 point scorer and gave DePaul a 67-41 lead.  

“It was a very important game for us and for our players to get back home and to make a statement to themselves,” Bruno said. “The season so far has been about the good, the bad, and the ugly. It was important that we reestablish the good, and I thought our players did a great job of doing that.”

The good started with Podkowa’s runner in the lane as the buzzer sounded to end the first quarter to give DePaul a 16-14 lead and starting a 17-2 DePaul run. Podkowa’s three-pointer gave the Blue Demons a 25-14 lead, and Creighton got no closer the rest of the way. The Bluejays cut the lead to 37-24 on MC McGrory’s three-pointer with 3:34 left in the second quarter before Amarah Coleman answered with a three-pointer from the left corner.

Creighton (10-10, 4-4 Big East) had held opponents to an average of 51.5 ppg during their four-game winning streak before tonight’s loss. DePaul (15-6, 7-1) had 47 points at the half.

The Bluejays are No. 3 in Division I in fewest turnovers per game at 11.3, but DePaul forced 19 turnovers tonight. Creighton has now lost five straight when committing more turnovers than its opponent.

“We knew Creighton’s tempo was a little bit slower, so we tried to speed them up,” January said. “They don’t turn the ball over, but we wanted to try and wear them out.”

And that wearing out started early, with DePaul forcing seven turnovers and garnering six steals in the second quarter.  

Podkowa is No. 6 in the Big East in scoring and No. 30 nationally in field goal percentage at 55.3. She shot 7-10 from the field and was 2-2 from behind the arc.

Creighton freshman Audrey Faber is the No. 5 scorer in the Big East at 15.2 ppg and No. 3 in the country at 48.9 percent from behind the arc, but she was held to 0-3 from behind the arc. She scored 17 points.

This was the second highest point total given up by Creighton this year. The Bluejays have the Big East’s No. 2 scoring defense at 61.0 ppg.

January leads the Big East in assists at six per game and is No. 18 nationally in that category. Her full-court pass to Podkowa was part of DePaul’s 17-2 run. 

Jenkins had one steal, giving her 212 at DePaul. She needs two more to move into the top 10 all-time at DePaul.

Notes:

- The two teams have a combined four preseason All-Big East players (Jenkins, Podkowa, Creighton’s Marissa Janning, who is out with an injury, and Creighton’s Sydney Lamberty)

- The Big East has three of the top 10 teams in the country in assist/turnover ratio (DePaul, No. 6 at 1.42; Creighton, No. 4 at 1.50; and Villanova, No. 1 at 1.84).  


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