Jessica January scored a game-high and season-high 23 points and No. 19/19 DePaul placed five players in double figures and won its eighth straight, beating Marquette 98-65 Sat. afternoon in the Big East regular season finale for both teams.
The last time these two teams played on the date Feb. 27, today's date, was in 2005, a 77-56 DePaul win. The Blue Demons finished their then-Conference USA regular season that year at 13-1. DePaul finishes this regular season at 16-2, its best conference record since that 2004 season and its most conference wins in a season. DePaul set a record for most conference wins since the realignment of the Big East in 2013.
DePaul (24-7, 16-2 Big East) tied the school record today for longest road win streak at 10 games. Its 24 wins is sixth most in school history.
January shot 10-12 from the field and her field goal at 7:03 of the first quarter tied Felicia Chester (2006-11) for 30th all-time at DePaul with 1,129 points. January had 10 first quarter points. She added a game-high nine assists.
"We just wanted to get ahead early and share the ball," January said. "We had some really good ball movement tonight and people were knocking down shots."
DePaul shot a season-high 56.9 percent from the field and has shot at least 50 percent in three of its last four games. The Blue Demons lead the Big East in field goal percentage at 46.3 percent. DePaul's 98 points is the second highest total by a Marquette opponent this year.
Marquette (14-15, 9-9) went on a 7-0 run to close to 35-25 with 4:59 left in the second quarter before a jumper by DePaul's Brooke Schulte was followed by a turnover by Marquette's Allazia Blockton. DePaul's Ashton Millender (10 points) jumper gave DePaul a 39-25 lead. Schulte's three-pointer extended the lead to 42-28 with 1:20 to play in the half.
Schulte had not scored in double figures in the last 10 games, but she had 16 point tonight, shooting 6-10 from the field including 4-8 from three-point range.
"There was really no difference [between tonight and those other games]," Shulte said. "It was my teammates having confidence in me and getting me the ball when I was open."
DePaul understood how important it was to finish the regular season strong.
"It was increidbly important [to play well today]," Schulte said. "We knew we had to finish out the season strong to get positive momentum towards the Big East tournament.
Marquette closed to 48-40 on two free throws by Blockton before Schulte answered with a three-pointer, Megan Podkowa (10 points, eight rebounds, and five assists) scored four straight points, and Schulte folowed with a lay up to extend DePaul's lead to 57-42 at 6:01 of the third quarter. The quarter ended with DePaul shooting 4-4 from the field and Marquette 1-10, with DePaul leading 74-50.
DePaul's Chanise Jenkins scored 14 points, moving her past Melanee Ehrhardt (1986-90) for 15th all-time in scoring at DePaul. Jenkins played in her 136th game at DePaul today, tying her for second all-time with Katherine Harry.
Podkowa's three-point field goal percentage of 49 percent before today is a DePaul single-season record. She was 0-1 from behind the arc today.
The Golden Eagles had outscored their last 17 opponents in the paint, but DePaul broke that streak today (40-36) and snapped Marquette's seven-game home win streak. DePaul has now won five straight versus Marquette.
Blockton, a freshman, finished with a team-high 16 points. Her 337 points this year breaks Providence's Kerri Chatten's Big East rookie record of 335 points set in 1994-95.
Next up for DePaul is the Big East tournament, to be played March 5-8 at Chicago's McGrath-Phillips Arena. No. 1 seed DePaul plays the winner of the No. 8/No. 9 seed game at 6 p.m. CT on March 6. Butler is the tournament’s No. 9 seed while seeds 2-8 have yet to be determined.