Naughton's 35 Leads DePaul Over Hartford

CHICAGO- The University of Hartford Hawks had an answer for #6 Duke in the DePaul Invitational Tournament. The Hawks had no answer for DePaul's Deirdre Naughton.

Naughton, the tournament MVP, scored 35 points to lead the DePaul women's basketball team (4-1) over Hartford 80-71 in the tournament final Saturday night at McGrath Arena.

"I wanted to score, but it was definitely within the flow of the game," said Naughton. "We got a lot of transition shots. I was trying to work in the flow and didn't want to force anything."

The Demons were down 52-47 with 11:47 left in the contest when they went on a 16-3 run started by Naughton's three-point play. China Threatt capped the run with a jumper to put DePaul ahead to stay at 63-55 with 6:10 left to play. The Hawks got no closer than four points the rest of the way.

"We have a mix of veteran players and younger players. I think the veterans did a good job of getting everything settled down and the resolve to finish what was a tough and very hard fought basketball game," said DePaul head coach Doug Bruno.

Naughton's 35 points are a new career high for her at DePaul, eclipsing her 31 points last week against the University of New Mexico. Naughton scored 37 points during her freshman year at Wake Forest.

She was quick to credit her teammates: "This is one of the most unselfish teams I have ever played on."

DePaul's full court press forced 15 turnovers, and their frenetic offensive pace caused problems for the Hawks. "Hartford was exhausted at the end of the game and that is because of the energy that these players threw at them for 40 minutes," said Bruno.

The Demons took a 37-34 lead into the half on a Naughton layup from an assist by Keisha Hampton with eight seconds to play. Naughton scored 17 in the first half.

DePaul held the Hawks' leading scorer, Diana Delva, to eight points, seven off her season average. Lisa Etienne, named to the All-Tournament team, led Hartford with 14 points.

Joining Naughton on the All-Tournament Team for DePaul were Sam Quigley and Hampton. Quigley added 11 points to the win and Hampton scored 10.

DePaul's Taylor Pikes injured her left knee with 15:33 left to play in the first half and did not return.

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