Natasha Williams' 24 points and 14 rebounds and key three pointers by Sam Quigley and Deirdre Naughton led the Demons to a 76-68 win over the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix Monday night at McGrath Arena.
The Phoenix, fresh off a win over the Big East's Marquette Golden Eagles, looked for the first 26 minutes of its contest against DePaul (12-2) like it might be two in a row over Big East schools.
The Phoenix scored 15 points off 11 DePaul turnovers in the first half, matched the Demons shot for shot, and took a 34-29 lead into the break on a Kati Harty three-pointer with 31 seconds to play.
"Our game plan was to see if our quickness could get to the rim, I thought we did that more in the first half," said UWGB coach Matt Bollant.
UWGB, seventh in the nation in three-point field goal defense at 22.8%, held the Demons to 33% three-point shooting in that half.
The Phoenix jumped out to a 43-33 lead with 14:46 left to play when DePaul then started rising.
A jumper by Williams was followed by back-to-back three pointers by freshman Deanna Ortiz to close the gap to 45-44 with 13:14 remaining in the contest.
"Allowing them to hit back to back three's really changed the momentum and I think made the difference," said Bollant.
Neither team led by more than three points for the next 11 minutes. It was a 23 footer from the top of the circle by Quigley followed by a three-pointer from the right wing by Naughton that gave DePaul the lead for good at 68-62 with 1:22 left to play.
"We got great contributions from everybody," said DePaul head coach Doug Bruno. "Deanna Ortiz did a great job off the bench in the second half. Natasha did a great job of guarding anybody and everybody that we asked her to guard. The big shots hit by Deidre and Sam Quigley playing 40 minutes. We got a lot of contributions from everybody."
Said Williams of her task of guarding different players throughout the contest "Whatever coach needs me to do out there. It is a challenge. To be guarding point guards or off guards or whomever it is, I just want to step up and do that for our team."
Naughton scored 12 of her 21 points in the last 4:45.
"I thought Williams was sensational, "said Bollant. "We really weren't able to keep her off the boards, and then Naughton stepped up and made some shots. Naughton took them on their shoulders when we got up 10 and refused to let her team lose."
Quigley added 16 points for DePaul.
DePaul shot 43% from behind the arc for the game.
This was the 100th win at McGrath Arena for the DePaul women.
The Demons start Big East play this Saturday at #10 Louisville with their All-American forward Angel McCoughtry.
UWGB falls to 8-3. Harty led the Phoenix with a career high 19 points. Lavesha Glover added 15 points.
Late Rally Lifts DePaul Women Over UWGB
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