January was one assist shy of a triple-double and No. 23/21 DePaul had three players with double-doubles and beat second place St. John’s 77-71 at McGrath-Phillips Arena.
About the only thing January did wrong today was briefly facing the wrong way when she was presented before today’s game with the basketball she scored her 1,000 point with earlier this year versus Creighton.
Both teams were looking to bounce back from losses this past Fri., and January got DePaul off to a fast start, scoring nine of her team’s first 11 points. She finished the night with 21 points on 9-13 shooting, 10 rebounds and nine assists. This was her fifth double-double this year. She moved into ninth place all-time at DePaul in assists with 362.
“Overall, our team came out with a lot energy,” January said. “We knew St. John’s is a really good team and we were trying to get our offensive execution back because Friday we did not execute very well. With the offense we were running, we were cutting and hitting the players cutting.”
DePaul (17-7, 9-2 Big East) notched a St. John’s-opponent high this year with 24 assists and tied a high with its 77 points.
Freshman Tanita Allen, who did not play in Friday’s loss to Seton Hall, added a career-high 13 points on 5-6 shooting, including 3-4 from behind the arc, for the Blue Demons.
“[Allen] was very impactful in today’s win,” DePaul coach Doug Bruno said. “We are trying to find reserve answers and Tanita came in today and gave us a great lift off the bench.”
The Red Storm closed to 25-20 midway through the second quarter before Allen’s five points helped boost the DePaul lead to 34-20. St. John’s (16-6, 7-4) closed to 66-59 on Aliyyah Handford’s jumper in the paint midway through the fourth quarter before Allen answered with a layup.
Handford and Danaejah Grant account for 51.9 percent of Red Storm’s scoring this year. Grant scored a game-high 24 points and Handford added 12. The Red Storm leads the Big East in field goal percentage at 46.1 percent, but was held to 43.3 percent today.
January’s jumper with 1:30 to play before halftime gave DePaul a 40-27 lead, as the Red Storm made just two of its last 11 shots. January finished the first half with 15 points as DePaul led 42-30 at the break.
Megan Podkowa’s layup with just under one minute to play in the first half gave DePaul its biggest lead of the game at 42-27. Podkowa finished with 11 points and a team-high 13 boards. She is second in the Big East with seven double-doubles. She needs one more rebound to move into eighth place all-time at DePaul.
Chanise Jenkins added 10 points and a game-high 10 assists for DePaul. Her 605 career assists is the most by any active Big East player.
DePaul last lost back-to-back home games in Jan. 2008 (Tennessee and Pittsburgh).
DePaul has now won six straight in this series, the longest win streak by either team in a series that started in 2006.
The Blue Demons travel to play at Villanova on February 5th and at Georgetown on February 7th.