DePaul Holds Off Marquette

HARTFORD, Conn. – Allie Quigley scored 27 points in just 26 minutes to lead ninth-seeded DePaul over No. 8 seed Marquette, 73-69, in the BIG EAST Championship first round on Saturday. Felicia Chester came off the bench for 15 points while Deirdre Naughton added 14 for the Blue Demons.

DePaul faces top-seeded Connecticut for the second time in nine days following a 77-76 loss to the Huskies on Mar. 1.

Quigley scored six points early as DePaul took an 11-4 lead less than four minutes into the game. Following a Marquette time out the Golden Eagles turned the tied and went on a 13-5 run with Tatiyiana McMorris' three-pointer at 12:27 give them their first lead of the game at 17-14.

Marquette built a six-point advantage before Deirdre Naughton and Erin Carney each hit a free throw in the final minute. Chester gathered Marquette's final miss of the first half and went the length of the floor to beat the buzzer with a lay-up that sent the two teams to intermission tied at 32. Quigley, hampered by three first-half fouls, led the Blue Demons with 11 points in just six minutes on the floor.

Two Quigley three-pointers sandwiched a bucket by Natasha Williams and the Blue Demons held a 40-36 advantage early in the second half. Marquette (16-14) came right back and regained the lead on a Krystal Ellis breakaway lay-up, but Naughton drained the first of her three three-pointers to give the Blue Demons the lead for good with just over 15 minutes left in the game.

Naughton's three started an eight-point flurry that saw Chester hit a jumper in the paint and another Naughton three for a 50-43 score in favor of the Blue Demons. The lead grew as high as 10 points when Erin Carney forced a steal from Ellis and found a streaking Quigley for a lay-up with just over six minutes remaining.

The Golden Eagles chipped away and pulled to within a point on two occasions in the final four minutes, but DePaul held them off as Quigley beat the shot clock on a baseline jumper followed by Chester grabbing a missed free throw by Taylor Pikes and converting for a 73-68 lead with 47 seconds on the clock.

Quigley played all 20 minutes in the second half without committing her fourth foul and added three rebounds and two assists. Chester racked up a career-high 15 points and matched her season-best mark of eight rebounds. She also totaled four steals and added a blocked shot. Naughton pulled down five boards while Erin Carney led the Blue Demons with nine rebounds.

Ellis led Marquette with 15 points and was followed by Angel Robinson's 14 and Svetlana Kovalenko's 11 points.

DePaul moves on to its second game of the BIG EAST Tournament for the third straight year and takes on Connecticut in the quarterfinals. Tipoff at the XL Center is 2 p.m. ET. The winner advances on to the semifinals to play the winner of the Pittsburgh-Notre Dame quarterfinal.

Game Notes: With the win, DePaul has totaled 20 wins in five of the last six seasons and 16 seasons in program history... the Blue Demons play two games in the BIG EAST Championship for the third straight year... DePaul is now 3-2 all-time in BIG EAST tourney play... Marquette served as DePaul's fifth different opponent in BIG EAST Championship play... Allie Quigley has knocked down at least two three-pointers in six straight games and eight of the last nine... she has recorded at least 20 points in 14 games this season and 35 in her career... since the start of the 2003-04 season (157 games), the Blue Demons are 86-13 when holding opponents to less than 70 points... DePaul is 13-4 in 2007-08 when holding team to less than 70... DePaul leads the series, 29-20... the win snapped a two-game winning streak for the Golden Eagles in the series.

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