DePaul Drops 67-57 Decision at No. 9 Rutgers

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – An 11-0 run by No. 9/9 Rutgers proved to be the difference in a 67-57 win over No. 13/11 DePaul on Saturday afternoon at the Louis Brown Athletic Center. Allie Quigley led DePaul with 16 points and tied the game at 50-50 with five minutes left before the Scarlet Knights pulled away to claim the BIG EAST victory.

In the first three minutes, the Blue Demons jumped out to an 8-0 lead behind three baskets from Khara Smith and a Jenna Rubino jumper.

DePaul kept the Rutgers crowd on their feet waiting for the first Scarlet Knight points until Matee Ajavon converted a three-point play 4:26 into the game. Ajavon tallied another three-point play on the following possession before Cappie Pondexter hit a short jumper and nailed a three-pointer as the shot clock expired to tie the game at 11-11 with just over 11 minutes left in the first half.

Rutgers tied the game in the midst of a 14-2 run and took a 17-13 lead on an Essence Carson jumper with 8:48 until halftime. During the Rutgers flurry, DePaul managed just a Caprice Smith putback in a span of nearly eight minutes.

The Blue Demons could get no closer than four points until Quigley knocked down a basket and Erin Carney hit a three-pointer from the corner to beat the shot clock and the two teams went into intermission tied at 27-27.

Baskets were traded to start the second half before Erin Cattell hit a three-pointer and gave the Blue Demons their first lead of the second period at 34-31.

Rutgers came right back and tied the game on an Ajavon three-point play and followed that with a 17-footer by Pondexter for a 38-36 lead.

Over the next seven minutes, neither team led by more than two points until an Ajavon three-pointer and a jumper in the lane by Carson that gave Rutgers a 48-45 lead with eight minutes left.

Quigley tied the game at 50-50 with her third three-pointer of the afternoon before the Scarlet Knights scored four straight points capped by an Ajavon fast break bucket. Pondexter added a three-pointer with 3:52 left to give Rutgers a seven-point lead.

Rutgers (17-3, 9-0 BIG EAST) ended up reeling off 11 straight points for a 61-50 advantage and held the Blue Demons scoreless for over four minutes. Quigley hit a three-pointer with 1:26 on the clock to end the drought and make the score 61-53.

Pondexter and Carson hit six straight free throws in the final minute to seal the win for the Scarlet Knights.

Quigley led DePaul (18-5, 5-5 BIG EAST) with 16 points while Khara Smith added 13 points, six rebounds and three assists. Rubino chipped in 10 points to go along with six rebounds and six assists.

Pondexter scored a game-high 27 points followed by Avajon with 18 and Carson with 16 points. All three played the entire 40 minutes for Rutgers and combined for 61 of the 67 Scarlet Knight points.

The Blue Demons return to the DePaul Athletic Center next week for a pair of BIG EAST games. DePaul hosts Cincinnati on Wednesday night before taking on Notre Dame on Sunday afternoon. The Blue Demons and Irish play on ESPN2 with the tipoff set for 4:40 p.m. Wednesday's game against the Bearcats is slated for a 7 p.m. start. Both games can be heard live at depaulbluedemons.com.

Game Notes: DePaul has lost three straight for the first time since a four-game losing streak from Feb. 20-Mar. 5, 2004… the Blue Demons are 1-3 this season against ranked teams… DePaul has scored less than 80 points in five straight games… Khara Smith moved into second place all-time passing Lenae Williams in the second half… Allie Quigley and Jenna Rubino surpassed the 800-point mark in their careers… Erin Cattell made her first collegiate start… Saturday was the first meeting between the two programs.

Official Box Score

Postgame Audio


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