Blue Demons Advance Past Eastern Michigan

HONOLULU, Hawai'i – No. 17/17 (AP/Coaches) DePaul advanced to the winner's bracket of the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic with a 64-49 win over Eastern Michigan on Friday. Allie Quigley led the Blue Demons with 21 points as DePaul pulled away with a 17-5 run over the final four minutes.

The game started with a pair of 7-0 runs with the first by the Blue Demons to open the contest. Jenna Rubino scored the first five points of the game before Eastern Michigan answered with seven straight points to tie the score at 7-7. Allie Quigley ended the Eagle flurry with just over 13 minutes left in the first half on a baseline jumper.

Both teams struggled over the remainder of the half as they combined to shoot 16-for-62 from the field. DePaul posted a .313 shooting percentage on 10-of-32 shooting while Eastern Michigan managed to make just 6-of-30 attempts (.200).

DePaul (3-0) held Eastern Michigan without a field goal over the final 5:37 of the first period and held a 24-19 advantage at intermission. Doug Bruno used his entire bench within the first six minutes of the game and seven different players scored led by Rubino's five points.

The Blue Demons opened up a 10-point lead at 35-25 with an 11-4 run to start the second half. Eastern Michigan's Canea Williams ended the run on a long three-pointer with 14:02 left on the clock.

A baseline lay-up by Sarah VanMetre closed the DePaul advantage to just four points at 42-38 forcing Bruno to call a time out with just over six minutes left in the game. The Blue Demons responded with five straight points by Khara Smith and back-to-back three-pointers by Quigley to push the lead back to nine at 53-44. On DePaul's next possession, two free throws by Smith gave the Blue Demons an 11-point lead with 2:31 left in the game.

A short jumper by Claudette Towers in the final minute gave DePaul their largest lead of game at 64-46 before Kendra Gallert hit a 28-footer at the buzzer for the 64-49 final.

The Blue Demons held Eastern Michigan to just a .232 team field goal percentage and outrebounded the Eagles, 51-35. Quigley grabbed six rebounds and added three assists to go with the game-high 21 points while Khara Smith registered her second straight double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Rubino also added nine points, five rebounds and four steals.

Williams led Eastern Michigan (2-1) with 19 points on 4-of-12 shooting from behind the arc.

DePaul moves on to the winners bracket to play Texas A&M. Tipoff at the Stan Sheriff Center is set for 2:50 p.m. HT (6:50 p.m. CST). The Aggies knocked off Cal State Northridge, 76-52, on Friday afternoon.

In the top half of the bracket, host Hawai'i and Wisconsin won their respective games. The Badgers opened the tournament with an 85-73 win over Idaho State. The Rainbow Wahine came from behind to knock off Washington State, 68-63. Those two teams play tomorrow in the second winner's bracket semifinal following DePaul and Texas A&M.

Game Notes: Ciara Johnson started her first collegiate game… DePaul now leads the all-time series, 3-0… Friday was the first meeting between the two programs since the 1989-90 season… Khara Smith's double-double was the 56th of her career… she moved past Debra Robinson into third all-time with 1,014 career rebounds… the 51 team rebounds were the most since 52 against Charlotte on Jan. 16, 2005… DePaul has won 11 straight regular-season tournament games… their last regular-season tournament loss was to North Carolina at the 2002 Rainbow Wahine Classic by a score of 82-66… they have also posted 16 consecutive regular-season wins.

Official Box Score

Rainbow Wahine Classic Schedule

Friday, Nov. 25

Wisconsin 85, Idaho State 73

Hawai'i 68, Washington State 63

Texas A&M 76, Cal State Northridge 52

DePaul 64, Eastern Michigan 49

Saturday, Nov. 26

Idaho State vs. Washington State - 10:30 a.m.

Cal State Northridge vs. Eastern Michigan - 12:40 p.m.

Texas A&M vs. DePaul - 2:50 p.m.

Wisconsin vs. Hawai'i - 5 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 27

7th-Place Game - 11 a.m.

5th-Place Game - 1:10 p.m.

3rd-Place Game - 3:20 p.m.

Championship Game - 5:30 p.m.

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