DePaul Holds Off Huskies

CHICAGO – With various streaks on the line, the DePaul women's basketball team held off Northern Illinois, 71-68, on Saturday night at McGrath Arena. Caprice Smith and Erin Cattell each turned in a double-double while Missy Mitidiero led the Blue Demons with a career-high 19 points.

DePaul opened the game with five straight points only to see Mary Basic knock down back-to-back three's to spot the Huskies a one-point lead just two minutes into the game. The early exchange of buckets was a preview of the rest of the evening.

The two teams traded baskets over the next seven minutes as the Blue Demons built a slim four-point advantage. A free throw and lay-up by Jessie Wilcox followed by a Stephanie Raymond three-pointer pushed Northern Illinois (2-2) ahead at 20-18 with just over nine minutes left in the first half.

The Huskies held the lead until China Threatt stole the ball and pulled away for an uncontested layup with 6:51 left in the half and the score at 23-22 in favor of the home team. Neither team led by more than three points over the remainder of the first period as the Blue Demons took a 33-31 lead at intermission.

The second half opened with DePaul building a seven-point advantage. Mitidiero knocked down a deep three-pointer just under four minutes into the second half for a 43-36 Blue Demon lead.

Two free throws by Raymond, who went 10-for-10 from the line, interrupted a DePaul run of 16-4 that opened up a 12-point advantage. Allie Quigley capped the run with a jumper to give the Blue Demons a 52-40 lead with 10:57 left in the game.

DePaul's lead remained at an eight-point minimum before Wilcox hit a three-pointer and Raymond dropped in two more free throws to cut the deficit to 57-52. Raymond's two free shots started a personal run as she scored the next 14 points for the Huskies. Her final shot of the run tied the game with a three-pointer at 64-64 with two minutes left on the clock.

Following a steal by Whitney Lowe, Wilcox hit a jumper to give Northern Illinois a two-point lead with 1:23 left in the game. Mitidiero's fifth three-pointer of the night pushed DePaul back ahead by a point before Raymond missed a three from the corner. Smith grabbed the rebound and found Jenna Rubino at midcourt who led Quigley to an uncontested layup as the Blue Demons took the lead for good.

In the final 20 seconds, Wilcox hit a basket and Smith scored with two free throws for the 71-68 final. With the win, the Blue Demons increased the home winning streak against unranked opponents to 57 games and the streak of wins against Illinois programs to 18 straight victories.

Cattell totaled 14 points and 14 rebounds while Smith's double-double consisted of 13 points and 13 boards. Mitidiero went 5-for-8 from three-point range to finish with 19 points while Quigley added 16 points. In the process of scoring 16 points, Quigley became the 20th player in school history with 1,000 career points.

Raymond's 25 points led all scorers and she added six rebounds and six assists to lead the Huskies. Wilcox added 15 points and five rebounds.

DePaul travels to UW-Green Bay on Wednesday night for a 7 p.m. game. The Blue Demons finish the week with a Sunday afternoon game at Missouri State. Both games can be heard live at depaulbluedemons.com.

Postgame Notes: The two double-doubles marked the first time since Jan. 14, 2006, that two DePaul players turned in a double-double… Khara Smith (24 pts./14 rebs.) and Jenna Rubino (20 pts./10 rebs.) accomplished the feat together against Villanova… Allie Quigley is now 19th all-time with 1,012 points… Erin Cattell's double-double was the first of her career while the 14 rebounds were a career best… Caprice Smith's 13 boards matched her career high set at USF on Dec. 7, 2005… it was also her second career double-double… DePaul has won 57 straight games at home over unranked opponents and 18 in-a-row against opponents from Illinois… the win was the 574th in program history… DePaul leads the series, 28-7, and has won 13 straight games over Northern Illinois.

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