Natahsa Williams scored 22 points and held Northwestern's Amy Jaeschke to four points in helping to lead DePaul (9-2) over Northwestern (2-7) 60-51.
"Coach (Bruno) wants inside-outside balance this year so I was really focusing on finishing my shots, "said Williams. "I take it very personally on defense. Coach challenges us to not let scorers go off. One of our keys to the game was to not let Jaeschke go off."
"Natasha has been the unsung hero of this basketball team all year, "said DePaul head coach Doug Bruno. " She has done a really great job."
Jaeschke, who had had five double-doubles in her team's first eight games this year, was just 2-9 shooting from the field.
DePaul's trapping half-court defense was easily solved by the Wildcats in the first half as Northwestern opened up a 21-14 lead with Ellen Jaeschke scoring 13 of her team's first 21 points. Williams then scored eight of her team's final 13 points to close the gap to 30-27 at the break.
Ellen Jaeschke's 17 points led the Wildcats in scoring.
The pressure put on by DePaul eventually wore down Northwestern and the Demons opened the second half on a 24-6 run led by eight points from Williams to lead 51-36 lead with 10:08 to play.
"The middle of the second half was a killer stretch for us," said first year Northwestern coach Joe McKeown. "I felt we did a great job in the first half. In the second half they just got running and when they get in transition they are really good. We had that bad four or five minute stretch where it went from a three or four point game to double digits. We have to be a better ball handling team against pressure; that has been our Achilles heel."
The Demons scored 24 points off of 24 Northwestern turnovers.
"Our pressure did not get steals right away, but it takes its toll and wears people down over time, "said Bruno. "They were tired towards the end of the first half and were tired in the second half."
DePaul's leading scorer, Deirdre Naughton, did not score her first basket until the 8:30 mark of the first half. She finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, and six assists.
After a three-point play by Naughton to stretch the lead to 60-43 with 1:59 remaining, Northwestern closed the game with a 7-0 run.
DePaul has now won 10 straight against the Wildcats.
Next up for the Demons is a home game against Northern Illinois University on December 18th.
Williams Powers DePaul Past Northwestern
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