DePaul Posts 72-65 Win Over USF

CHICAGO – Caprice Smith scored 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead five players in double-figures and DePaul past visiting USF, 72-65, on Tuesday night. The junior forward tallied her seventh double-double of the season as the Blue Demons snapped a two-game losing skid.

USF (17-6, 7-3 BIG EAST) held an early three-point lead before buckets by Jenna Rubino, Missy Mitidiero and Smith vaulted the Blue Demons to an 8-6 advantage.

A China Threatt jumper at the 13-minute mark gave DePaul (15-9, 5-6 BIG EAST) a three-point cushion before a ChiChi Okpaleke lay-up and a Nalini Miller free throw tied the game at 15-15.

On DePaul's next possession, Erin Cattell started a 10-2 run over the next six minutes. Cattell finished the run with a jumper and the Blue Demons saw their lead at 25-17 with 5:35 left in the half. The lead grew to 10 points on an Erin Carney basket before Jessica Dickson and Shantia Grace finished the first period scoring with the Blue Demons holding a 31-25 lead.

Dickson hit four free throws to start the second period and trimmed the deficit to just two points at 31-29. However, the Blue Demons stretched out the advantage with a 13-4 run that ended with an Allie Quigley jumper at 15:43 and the score at 44-33 in favor of the home team.

Over the next seven minutes, DePaul's lead was at least eight points and grew as large as 13 points on four occasions.

Dickson led USF on a 10-4 run that ended with DePaul claiming just a five-point advantage. The BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year scored eight points during the flurry with a pair of three-pointers. Her second trifecta made the score 59-54 with just over five minutes left in the game.

DePaul answered with back-to-back three's from Sam Quigley and Smith to push the lead immediately back to double-figures. Over the final four minutes, the Bulls pulled to within six points, but could get no closer for the 72-65 final.

Smith's double-double led five players in double-figures for DePaul. She was followed by Allie Quigley with 13 points, six rebounds and four assists while Mitidiero added 11 points, five assists and four boards. Rubino and Cattell added 10 points each with Rubino also totaling six rebounds.

USF was led by Dickson's 25 points and eight rebounds while Grace added 13 points.

DePaul travels to Notre Dame on Sunday afternoon for a 5:40 p.m. ET start. The game is part of ESPN's "February Frenzy" and will be broadcasted in the Chicago market on ESPN2.

Postgame Notes: DePaul has won at least 15 games in 24 seasons… the win was No. 390 for Doug Bruno at DePaul… the Blue Demons are 11-1 this season when holding opponents to less than 70 points… at least four players have scored in double-figures in 11 games this season… Allie Quigley moved into a tie for third all-time in career three-pointers… Jenna Rubino moved into a tie for 15th on DePaul's all-time scoring list… she now needs four assists to become the only player in school history with 1,200 points, 500 rebounds, 300 assists and 150 three-pointers... DePaul leads the series, 10-4.

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