DePaul Women Fall to Vandy in OT

CINCINNATI - Despite erasing an 11 point deficit, the 11th-seeded DePaul women's basketball team dropped a hard fought 83-76 overtime game to sixth seeded Vanderbilt in the opening round of the NCAA Championship at Xavier's Cintas Center on Sunday.

In a game of runs, Anna Martin scored 24 points to lead four Blue Demons (21-12) in double digits. Felicia Chester added 19, Keisha Hampton finished with 16 and Sam Quigley tallied 14. Hampton led DePaul with eight rebounds and Chester followed with seven.

Merideth Marsh paced Vanderbilt (23-10) with 26 points while Hannah Tuomi had a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

In the first 90 seconds of play, Quigley gave DePaul and early 4-0 lead, but Vanderbilt would answer with a 15-1 run and take a15-5 lead on a pair of free throws by Jessica Mooney.

With 13:34 on the clock, Mooney was sent to the line when Quigley picked up her second foul. Quigley's third foul would come at the 12:46 mark and send her to the bench for the remainder of the half.

With Quigley, who dishes out 5.2 assists per game on the bench, the Blue Demons were forced to retool both on offense and defense. Vanderbilt led by as many as 11 points, 31-20 with 1:42, but Hampton closed out the half by hitting two key 3-pointers.

Vanderbilt went to the locker room up 33-26 behind 14 points from Marsh.

DePaul came out of the half determined to erase the Commodore lead. Martin started the half by sinking a pair of free throws before Chester went inside for a layup which forced Vandy to call a timeout with 18:35 left in the game.

Chester and Martin combined to score eight of DePaul's next 10 points, but none was bigger than Chester's layup with 13:00 minutes on the clock which gave the Blue Demons 40-38 lead.

DePaul continued to run on all cylinders with Deanna Ortiz hitting a 10-foot jumper followed by threes by Quigley and Hampton to put the Blue Demons up 48-41 with 10:17 on the clock. The Commodores answered and used a 9-2 run and knotted the game at 50 on Lauren Lueders 3-pointer with 8:33 to play.

With the game tied at 50, Vandy went on an 11-2 run and led 61-52 with 4:29 to play.

The Blue Demons dug deep and did not go away as the combination of Chester and Martin went to work again. Chester completed the three-point play, before the dynamic duo both converted an offensive rebound into two points which pulled DePaul within two, 61-59 with 2:49 to play.

With 67 second left in regulation and DePaul down 64-61, Chester came through with another three point play and this time it knotted the game at 64.

The Blue Demons pressured Vandy and the Commodores would come up empty on their next trip down the floor and with 12 second left, Katherine Harry's hook shot would travel around the rim but not in the basket which sent the game into overtime.

Playing in a school-record fourth overtime game of the season, the Blue Demons could not find their shot and were just 5-of-12 from the floor. Conversely, Vandy hit 5-of-8 and quickly took a 75-64 lead on a breakaway layup by Marsh.

Martin scored DePaul's last four points, but in overtime; time ran out on the Blue Demons second big comeback attempt.

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