USA Today

No. 16 DePaul Stays Close with No. 2 Irish  

CHICAGO - Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw says the rivalry between her school and DePaul is "edgy." And DePaul had the No. 2/1 Irish close the edge of a loss for 35 minutes Saturday night

No. 16/15 DePaul (6-3) got 19 points each from Jessica January and Brooke Schulte, and scored the third most points of a Notre Dame opponent this year, but fell 75-61 in front of 3,000 fans at McGrath-Phillips Arena. 

The Blue Demons got a layup from Jacqui Grant to break a scoring drought of 2:46 in the third quarter, and then a three-pointer from the left corner by Kelly Campbell to tie the score at 38 midway through the quarter.    

Notre Dame (9-1) has not lost consecutive games since November, 2010.  Of the 37 total losses DePaul has sustained at McGrath-Phillips Arena, 21 of them have come to ranked teams. DePaul is now 7-8 versus ranked teams at the arena since 2010.  

DePaul played its fourth ranked opponent tonight in this still-young season.  

" I really put my players through a lot in the last 13-14 days [with these ranked opponents]," DePaul coach Doug Bruno said. "These players have to be resilient to compete at this level and against this kind of schedule.

"I was proud of the way our players answered [Notre Dame]. "Brianna Turner came back from her fouls in the second half and she was tough  to handle."

Grant picked up her third foul at 7:08 of the third quarter, and Turner scored 12 of her 14 points in the second half.  

Schulte hit back-to-back three-pointers on the Blue Demons' first two possessions of the third quarter to tie the game at 33, the first tie since early in the first quarter. Schulte was 8-11 from the field including 3-4 from three-point range for the game.

"Jessica January and Brooke Schulte, two seniors, are really tough people and they don't quit, and they competed in every possession they were in tonight," Bruno said.

The Blue Demons hit 12 three-pointers in a five-point loss to Notre Dame last year, but were just 5-23 behind the arc tonight.  

January scored 12 of her points in the second half. Her six assists leaves her one shy of moving into fourth place all-time at DePaul. She eclipsed the 500-rebound mark in a career with her six boards tonight. She also had a game-high six assists.  

"Obviously playing UConn we did not come out very well and we learned from that," January said. "I think in this game we came out with a lot of energy."

DePaul trailed just 19-15 at the end of one quarter, unlike the bad single quarters the Blue Demons played against Baylor and UConn, quarters which essentially decided the outcome of those two games.

The Blue Demons went without a field goal for 6:35 in the second quarter until January's jumper at the halftime buzzer and left Notre Dame with a 33-27 lead at the break.

Amarah Coleman's layup brought DePaul to within 52-44  at 8:48 of the fourth quarter before a steal and lay up by Mychal Johnson gave the Irish their largest lead up to that point at 61-48.

DePaul travels to play Temple this Thursday at 8:00 p.m. Central.

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