No. 19/18 DePaul (16-5, 8-1 Big East) got career-highs in points from Brooke Schulte and Jacqui Grant, but Marquette snapped the Blue Demons’ 10-game win streak 102-101 in overtime in front of a near-capacity crowd Saturday night.
“If you are able to hold a team to 29 points in a half, I am not sure we should be giving them 62 points in the second half,” DePaul coach Doug Bruno said, “I did not think we defended in the second half the way we needed to defend, and I thought we left too many bunnies on the floor.”
Kelly Campbell’s three-pointer from the right corner was part of a 9-0 DePaul run and a 15-6 lead in the first quarter. DePaul had its largest lead of the night at 15 with 5:13 to play in the first half. But to bring the big picture to a small picture might be this statistic: Marquette led for just 1:44 in the game.
“If the game is going to become a scoring game, you better finish at the backboard or the rim,” Bruno said.
And more times than Bruno or his players cared to imagine, DePaul did not finish, missing numerous uncontested lay ups.
“We still put ourselves in a position to win this game after all that chaos,” Bruno said.
Grant had 27 points to go with her career-high 17 rebounds, and it was her final board that gave DePaul the possibility of emerging from the chaos and winning its sixth straight against Marquette. She grabbed a missed jumper by Marquette’s Erika Davenport with six second left in overtime and dribbled the length of the floor, but her 23-footer from the top of the circle with three seconds left was too strong.
Schulte scored 35 points but fouled out with 1:35 left in overtime, limiting DePaul’s offensive options. The two teams shot a combined 8-9 from the field with ten seconds left in overtime, with DePaul starting out the extra period 3-3 from the floor. Schulte has scored in double figures in her last 11 games and is averaging 24.2 ppg in her last eight games.
DePaul held Marquette (16-4, 7-2) to 29.7 field goal shooting (11-37) in the first half while shooting 50.0 percent (19-38) to lead 44-29 at the break.
The Golden Eagles opened the second half with a full-court press, something that proved fruitful for them as the game wore on. DePaul had seven turnovers in the first half and seven in the fourth quarter alone.
The success of the press and the 62 points by Marquette in the second half was due in large part to DePaul’s Lauren Prochaska going down with a left foot injury with 8:24 left in the third quarter. She did not return and her left foot was in a boot after the game. She had three assists and zero turnovers at the time of her injury. Bruno expressed doubt she would be available for DePaul’s game against second-place Creighton on January 27.
“The Prochaska injury proved very tough on us,” Bruno said. “What people don’t realize is that Lauren can get the ball up the court against almost anybody in the country and we really struggled after she went out.”
Davenport tied the game at 83 with 1:38 to play in regulation before Schulte answered with a lay up, Her lay up then gave DePaul an 89-87 lead with 28 seconds to play, and teammate Amarah Coleman’s lay up put the Blue Demons up 91-89 before Marquette’s Allazia Blockton’s 15-footer as time expired forced the overtime.
This was a game played around the rim, with the teams combining for 110 points in the paint, DePaul with 56 and Marquette with 54. DePaul outrebounded the Golden Eagles 52-37 for the game, its 52 boards the second highest in the Big East this season.