As expected with the top two three-point shooting teams in the BIG EAST, three-pointers were flying through The Pavilion air early. Three-pointers from Missy Mitidiero and Sam Quigley led the Blue Demons to a 10-4 lead midway through the first half. Villanova was ice cold from three-point range as the Wildcats missed their first 10 attempts from behind the arc with just two Jackie Adamshick jumpers finding the net.
Briana Weiss ended the long-range drought with a trifecta at the 11-minute mark. Two minutes later, Mitidiero's third three-pointer of the first half spotted the Blue Demons an 18-9 advantage.
The Wildcats came right back as Adamshick scored eight points to lead Villanova on a 13-2 run that ended with Maria Getty's three-pointer from the corner and a 22-20 lead.
Two Allie Quigley free throws ended the run and tied the game at 22-22 with 3:19 on the clock. The first half ended with Villanova's Lisa Karcic hitting three straight buckets and Allie Quigley sinking a jumper through traffic in the lane for the 28-24 score.
Two baskets and a three-pointer by Mitidiero pushed DePaul ahead, 31-30, at the 14-minute mark of the second half. Following a Sam Quigley three-pointer and three consecutive baskets in the paint for Caprice Smith, Allie Quigley stole a pass and converted the lay-up forcing Villanova to call a time out with the Blue Demons leading, 42-36.
Another Mitidiero long-ranger put DePaul (12-6, 2-3 BIG EAST) up by seven at 47-40 with just under six minutes left in the game. Villanova answered with a three from Tia Grant to cut the deficit to four points at 47-43.
A seven-point lead with two minutes left diminished to just two on a Grant jumper with 53 ticks on the clock. After a missed jumper by Smith, Lisa Karcic was fouled by Rubino. She knocked down the first of two free throws with eight seconds left and missed the second. Smith grabbed the rebound and was immediately fouled. The junior calmly stepped to the line and hit nothing but the bottom of the net for a three-point lead with seven seconds to go.
As time expired, the Blue Demons forced a turnover at midcourt and China Threatt grabbed the ball to secure the 56-53 win.
Behind five three-pointers, Mitidiero led the Blue Demons with 19 points while Smith tallied 18 points and nine rebounds. Smith scored 16 of her points in the second half on 6-of-9 shooting from the field. Sam Quigley finished with six points, six rebounds and four assists while Allie Quigley chipped in eight points.
Villanova (7-11, 1-4 BIG EAST) was led by Adamshick's 21-point, 10-rebound double-double. Karcic added 15 points as the Wildcats launched 34 three-pointers.
The Blue Demons return home this weekend to face the Georgetown Hoyas. Tipoff at McGrath Arena is set for 7 p.m. As part of Hall of Fame Weekend, the new inductees to DePaul's Hall of Fame will be honored at halftime. Former women's basketball players Beth Hasenmiller-Sauser and Veronica Ross will be honored as part of the 11-member induction class.
Postgame Notes: Missy Mitidiero's five three's tied a career high (last vs. Northern Illinois, Nov. 25, 2006)… DePaul is 1-2 when playing on TV this season… the win ended a season-high three-game losing streak… the Blue Demons haven't loss four straight games since a losing streak from Feb. 20-Mar. 5, 2004… Doug Bruno coached his 610th game for the Blue Demons… DePaul has made at least one three-pointer in 60 straight games… the Blue Demons scored less than 60 points in back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 2002... the program is now 99-64 all-time against the current line-up of BIG EAST programs and 14-9 as a member of the conference… DePaul leads the series, 3-0… Tuesday's game was the first at The Pavilion.
Official Box Score
Two Smith Free Throws Seal Win for DePaul
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