January recorded her second triple-double, and the third one in DePaul women’s basketball history, and No. 19/18 DePaul recorded its sixteenth conference win as the Blue Demons won the Big East regular season for the fourth straight year, beating Georgetown 79-70 on DePaul’s Senior Day.
“We try to have everybody that we recruit be competitive, but Jessica takes competitiveness to a very high level,” DePaul coach Doug Bruno said.
January, in her second game back from a finger injury, finished with 16 points on 6-8 shooting from the field to go along with a game-high 13 rebounds and a game-high 10 assists.
DePaul (24-6, 16-2) is tied with Creighton for this season’s conference title, but the Blue Demons beat Creighton in both match ups between the two teams this season. DePaul enters the Big East tournament as the No. 1 seed and will play the winner of the No. 8/9 seed game this Sunday at 6:00 p.m. Central at Milwaukee’s Al McGuire Center.
The Blue Demons are the only team to win four straight regular season conference titles since UConn did the same in 2011.
Georgetown (17-11, 9-9) was led by Faith Woodard’s game-high 31 points.
DePaul seniors January, Brooke Schulte, Jacqui Grant, and Meri Bennett-Swanson all started today’s game per DePaul tradition, and they made themselves felt immediately, with Bennett-Swanson blocking Dorothy Adomako’s shot two minutes into the game.
“I cannot say enough about the senior class we are losing at DePaul,” Bruno said. “I am proud the four of them were able to win four Big East regular season championships. They are great people and great leaders.”
January and Bennett-Swanson will be each other’s bridesmaids at both of their upcoming weddings.
DePaul’s 12-0 run gave it a 14-2 lead to start the game, and January’s three-point play made it 23-6 midway through the quarter. DePaul’s 31 points at the end of the first quarter is the most given up by Georgetown in a quarter this season.
Amarah Coleman drove DePaul early with 10 first quarter points. She finished with a game-high 17 points on 7-9 shooting from the field.
Schulte was in early foul trouble, but she scored 12 points to go along with four assists.
DePaul and Georgetown are the only two teams in the BIG EAST to have multiple 1,000 point career scorers (January and Schulte, and Faith Woodard and Adomako for Georgetown).
The Blue Demons held their largest lead of the game, 20 points, with 5:30 to play in the second quarter. They had held Georgetown scoreless for 3:21 before Woodard’s two free throws cut the DePaul lead to 38-19. The Hoyas closed the quarter making six of seven field goals and Dionna White’s three-point play with eight seconds left closed the gap to 48-34.
DePaul shot 64.3 percent (18-28) from the field in the first half.
Woodard’s two free throws were part of an 11-1 Georgetown run, and the third quarter ended with DePaul leading 63-58.
“We just took a deep breath [when Georgetown made their run],” January said. “I think we were missing easy baskets and we weren’t really hunkering down defensively like we were in the first half.”
Grant’s layup started the fourth quarter scoring for DePaul. She finished with 14 points. She then picked up a charge on Adomako with DePaul leading 65-58. January’s rebound at 8:51 put her into triple-double territory. Tanita Allen’s jumper moved DePaul to a 73-62 lead and out of harm’s way.
DePaul had 23 assists on 29 baskets.