#23 DePaul Falls to #18 Marquette

CHICAGO – In a battle of Top 25 teams on Saturday night, No. 18/20 (AP/Coaches) Marquette held off No. 23/24 DePaul, 82-79, at McGrath Arena. The Blue Demons held an early lead, but the Golden Eagles took a three-point advantage at halftime and never relinquished the lead in the second half.

Within the first four minutes, the Blue Demons built a 13-point advantage behind three-pointers from Jenna Rubino and Missy Mitidiero. Caprice Smith's lay-up put DePaul (11-4, 1-1 BIG EAST) ahead 17-4 and the lead would fall to less than 10 points on just three brief occasions over the next 12 minutes.

Marquette (14-1, 3-0 BIG EAST) weather the early barrage and broke through to within eight points when Christina Quaye knocked down a short jumper with 7:29 left until halftime.

Quaye's bucket was in the midst of a seven-point run for the Golden Eagles to move within five points before an Allie Quigley lay-up and two free throws to push the Blue Demons back ahead, 37-28, at the six-minute mark.

In the final five minutes of the first half, Marquette outscored DePaul by a 14-4 margin to turn a five-point deficit into a three-point halftime lead at 44-41. Crystal Ellis capped the run with a three-pointer from the corner to give the Golden Eagles their first lead of the game with five ticks on the clock.

Marquette never led by more than nine points in the second half as DePaul pulled to within a bucket twice around the eight-minute mark. China Threatt made the score 63-61 with a layup off an assist from Rubino only to see Quaye hit a jumper and Ellis knock down two free throws for a six-point Marquette advantage.

Trailing by five points with 1:47 left, Smith hit two free throws followed by a lay-up for the Blue Demons to trail by a point at 78-77. In the final 32 seconds, four Ellis free throws sandwiched two free shots for Smith as Marquette held off a last-second three-point attempt from Rubino to seal the 82-79 win for the Golden Eagles.

Rubino totaled 21 points to lead four DePaul players in double-figures. She added six boards and five steals while Smith totaled 20 points and five rebounds. Quigley added 13 points and nine rebounds while Threatt came off the bench with 13 points.

Ellis led all scorers with 29 points, six assists and five rebounds while Quaye added 26 points and six boards.

DePaul returns to BIG EAST play with a Tuesday night game against West Virginia. Tipoff at McGrath Arena is set for 7 p.m.

Postgame Notes: The loss was just the third in the last 65 home games… DePaul is 1-2 this season against teams ranked in the Top 25… Holly Medley made her first collegiate start… Doug Bruno has used six different starting lineups this season… Jenna Rubino moved into eighth all-time with her 149th career three-pointer… DePaul is now 29-2 in their last 31 home conference games… the Blue Demons are 4-6 all-time at McGrath Arena against ranked opponents… DePaul leads the series, 28-19… the win for Marquette ended a two-game losing streak against the Blue Demons.

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Postgame Audio

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