DePaul Knocks Off Notre Dame

CHICAGO – Caprice Smith led four players in double-figures with 22 points as DePaul defeated Notre Dame, 87-73, in the regular-season finale for both teams. The Blue Demons trailed by as many as seven in the first half before outscoring the Fighting Irish, 51-38, in the second period.

The two teams square off again on Saturday in the first round of the BIG EAST Championship with Notre Dame as the No. 7 seed and DePaul as the No. 10 seed.

Notre Dame quickly jumped ahead, 8-3, behind baskets from Tulyah Gaines, Charel Allen and Crystal Erwin. The Blue Demons answered and took their first lead at 13-12 with 13:21 left.

With the score tied at 16-16, the Irish went on a 14-7 run to open up a seven-point lead with just under six minutes until halftime. However, DePaul didn't let the lead hold as they outscored Notre Dame, 13-5, in the final 5:33 to take a 36-35 advantage into intermission. Jenna Rubino, playing in her Senior Night, scored five points during the run to lead the Blue Demons.

The second half started as the first half ended with DePaul (18-11, 8-8 BIG EAST) scoring a dozen of the first 16 points. Mitidiero's third three-pointer of the evening capped the run with the Blue Demons holding a 48-39 lead.

The next six minutes saw the sides trade baskets with the DePaul lead remaining between five and nine points. Another Rubino three-pointer and a steal followed by a lay-up by the senior gave the Blue Demons a 12-point advantage of 61-49.

In the final 10 minutes, DePaul maintained at least a 10-point lead except for two occasions when Notre Dame (19-10, 10-6 BIG EAST) cut the deficit to eight points. The Blue Demons answered each time and immediately pushed the lead back to double-figures.

Rubino hit a jumper at 1:06 to give DePaul its largest lead of the night at 85-67 before being removed from the game by Doug Bruno to a standing ovation at McGrath Arena.

Smith totaled 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting with a variety of shots. She hit two three-pointers and went 4-for-4 from the line to go along with eight rebounds and three assists. Rubino finished with 17 points, six assists and three boards while Mitidiero and Allie Quigley chipped in 15 points each. Erin Carney led DePaul with 10 rebounds as the Blue Demons totaled a 44-33 advantage on the boards.

Ashley Barlow led Notre Dame with 21 points and eight rebounds while Breona Gray added 15 points. Gaines finished with 14 points and Allen tallied 10 points for the Irish.

DePaul and Notre Dame square off again in Hartford, Conn., on Saturday evening. The two teams battle at 6 p.m. ET in the first round of the BIG EAST Championship with the winner advancing to play No. 2 Rutgers in the quarterfinals. Saturday's first round game can be seen on the BIG EAST TV Network. Check local listings for availability.

Postgame Notes: DePaul has won five straight games on Senior Night... in seven seasons at McGrath Arena, the Blue Demons have won at least 10 games on six occasions... DePaul knocked down at least 10 three-pointers for the seventh time... Rachael Carney made her first start of the season... Doug Bruno has used 10 different starting lineups this season... since the start of the 2000-01 season, the Blue Demons are 73-4 when scoring at least 80 points... Erin Carney passed 500 career rebounds... Caprice Smith's two three-pointers gave her 75 in her career... the program has won at least 18 games in a season 22 times... DePaul's 51-point second half was the fourth time this season with at least 50 points in half... the 223 three's by the Blue Demons are tied for fourth on the team single-season chart... DePaul leads the series, 16-11... the home team has won in the series in each of the last nine meetings.

Official Box Score

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