No. 10 Blue Demons Defeat Villanova 84-75

CHICAGO – DePaul's Khara Smith and Jenna Rubino posted double-doubles to lead DePaul past Villanova, 84-75, on Saturday afternoon at the DePaul Athletic Center. Smith registered her 12th double-double of the year with 24 points and 14 rebounds while Rubino snagged her first double-double of the season with 20 points and 10 boards.

Villanova quickly gained a 10-2 advantage before the Blue Demons scored 12 of the game's next 20 points. The two teams were lighting up the scoreboard as Villanova knocked down eight of their first 12 shots while the Blue Demons went 7-of-13 to start the game.

Caprice Smith hit a turnaround jumper of the glass to cut the Wildcats lead to 22-20 with just over nine minutes left in the first half. The two teams traded buckets over the next five minutes before Khara Smith collected a Suzanne Morrison miss and put it back into tie the game at 28-28 with just under five minutes left in the first half.

On DePaul's next possession, Jenna Rubino gave the Blue Demons their second lead of the game with a pair of free throws. It was the first lead since Rubino opened the game with a jumper for a 2-0 DePaul advantage.

Villanova (10-5, 1-3 BIG EAST) tied the game at 45-45 three minutes into the second half on a short jumper by Liad Suez-Karni. Claudette Towers found Khara Smith under the basket for a turnaround bucket to regain the lead for the Blue Demons on their next possession.

Suez-Karni and Jackie Adamshick hit back-to-back three-pointers to put the Wildcats ahead, 55-49, forcing DePaul head coach Doug Bruno to call a time out with 12:46 left in the game.

Coming out of the break, the Blue Demons scored seven of the game's next nine points and cut the deficit to a point on a three-point play by Khara Smith. Jenna Viani answered with a three-point play of her own to push lead to 60-56 in favor of the visitors.

Neither team would lead by more than five points over the final 10 minutes of the game until Missy Mitidiero and Rubino hit four consecutive free throws for the 84-75 final. DePaul (16-1, 3-1 BIG EAST) went 21-for-28 from the line in the game, including a 16-of-20 effort in the second half.

With DePaul trailing, 63-60, Rubino hit her second three-pointer to tie the score with 9:10 left on the clock. Jenna Viani sank a free throw before Caprice Smith hit a bucket with 7:32 left to give the Blue Demons a 65-64 lead that they would never relinquish.

Khara Smith went 8-for-11 from the field and 8-for-11 from the line as she scored in double-figures for the 100th time in her career. Rubino's 20-point effort was a season-high as were the 10 rebounds. She also added four assists and a blocked shot.

Quigley chipped in 17 points to go with four assists and four rebounds while Caprice Smith added eight points and five boards.

Suez-Karni led the Wildcats with 20 points and was followed by Adamshick with 15 points.

DePaul goes on the road for their next two BIG EAST games. The Blue Demons travel to Notre Dame on Tuesday night before a Saturday afternoon game at Seton Hall. The Notre Dame game will be televised on CSTV.

Game Notes: The win was the 32nd straight at home… the 16-1 start equals the 2003-04 squad for the best start in school history… Khara Smith's double-double was the 66th of her career… it was also her 100th career game in double-figures… Jenna Rubino's double-double was the second of her career… the 84 points by DePaul marked the highest total allowed by Villanova since the 2001-02 season… in the last five-plus seasons, DePaul is 64-3 when scoring at least 80 points… the Blue Demons lead the series, 2-0.

Official Box Score

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