#24 DePaul Drops Second Straight at Home

CHICAGO – For the second time in as many games, the DePaul women's basketball team quickly built a double-digit lead only to see the visiting team come back and take a victory at McGrath Arena. Saturday saw No. 18 Marquette top DePaul before West Virginia knocked off the Blue Demons, 74-63, on Tuesday.

The loss to the Mountaineers was significant by ending DePaul's 58-game home winning streak against unranked opponents.

A game-opening 17-5 run in the first nine minutes put the Blue Demons up by 12 points. Two West Virginia baskets by Olayinka Sanni closed the gap to eight points before two Caprice Smith buckets and a lay-up by Jenna Rubino gave DePaul a 23-9 advantage with 8:16 left in the first half.

As hot as DePaul started the half, they finished the it just as cold. The Blue Demons totaled just 11 points in the final eight minutes as West Virginia (9-7, 1-3 BIG EAST) countered with 20 points for a 34-29 halftime lead in favor of DePaul.

A Sanni free throw just under six minutes into the second half tied the game at 39-39 as the Blue Demons were in the midst of a four-minute scoreless stretch. The 10-0 run for the Mountaineers ended with a short jumper by Smith and the Blue Demons trailing, 44-41, with 11:54 on the clock.

A LaQuita Owens three-pointer gave West Virginia a six-point lead before a 100-second spurt saw DePaul score 10 of the game's next 12 points. Rubino led the run with a lay-up, a three-pointer and a three-point play to give DePaul a 51-49 lead with just over nine minutes left in the game.

West Virginia answered with a three-pointer by Sparkle Davis. On DePaul's next possession, Allie Quigley was fouled and nailed two free throws. The 53-52 lead would be DePaul's last of the game as an Owens jumper started a 12-0 run ending with back-to-back three's by Britney Davis-White and Owens for a 64-53 score in favor of West Virginia.

Quigley's steal and lay-up brought the Blue Demons to within seven points at 3:53, but DePaul (11-5, 1-2 BIG EAST) would get no closer over the final four minutes.

Rubino led DePaul with a career-high 27 points while Caprice Smith added a 16-point, 13-rebound double-double. Quigley totaled nine points, seven rebounds and four assists, and Missy Mitidiero added 11 points and six assists.

Owens led the Mountaineers with 26 points and Sanni added 22 points.

DePaul hits the road for the next two BIG EAST games starting on Sunday at Cincinnati. The Blue Demons and Bearcats square off at 4:30 p.m. on ESPNU followed by a Tuesday night game on CSTV at Villanova.

Postgame Notes: The loss ended DePaul's 58-game winning streak at home against unranked opponents… the last loss to an unranked team was against Tulane on Mar. 2, 2002 with an 88-83 decision in the semifinals of the Conference USA Tournament… the back-to-back losses to Marquette and West Virginia marked the just third occurrence of consecutive losses at McGrath Arena… it happened twice during the 2001-02 campaign… the Blue Demons have never lost three straight games at McGrath Arena… DePaul is now 4-5 this season when allowing opponents to score more than 70 points… Jenna Rubino's four three's moved her into seventh all-time at DePaul… Allie Quigley moved into 15th all-time with 1,212 points… Caprice Smith's double-double was her sixth career and the 11th by a DePaul player this season… West Virginia leads the series, 2-1… the Mountaineers have claimed both meetings in BIG EAST play.

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