DePaul Upsets WVU

Deirdre Naughton's game-high 24 points and 15 rebounds lead DePaul to an 81-80 upset of No. 11 West Virginia on Saturday.

Naughton drilled the final of her five threes to jumpstart an 8-0 run that gave the Blue Demons the lead for good at 75-69 with 1:39 left. That shortly followed an 8-0 run by WVU that put it ahead 65-62 with approximately six minutes left. They were the two largest runs in a game punctuated by a fast pace and back-and-forth scoring that led to 11 lead changes and eight ties – the last of which was snapped when Ashley Powell scored on a driving lay-up give West Virginia its final edge at 69-67 before Naughton immediately answered with a three to start the deciding push. Powell made a three at the buzzer for the deciding margin.

The sophomore's five 3-pointers tied a career-high and were part of DePaul's season-best 14 from behind the arc. The 15 rebounds are a career high for the Wake Forest transfer.

"I am disappointed in our defense," West Virginia head coach Mike Carey. "We didn't guard anybody. We lost people in transition and they hit wide-open threes and made us pay. Give them credit. They came in and played hard. We are used to surprising people. But that's pat of building a program. People are not going to lay down for you. They are the growing pains of building a program."

China Threatt added 15 points and Allie Quigley scored 12 for DePaul, which defeated its highest-ranked opponent since beating then-No. 8 Notre Dame on Dec. 11, 2002. LaQuita Owens scored 22 for West Virginia (20-4, 9-2 Big East), whose school-record eight-game winning streak came to an end. That was part of four players in double figures – including Yinka Sanni's 15 – for the Mountaineers, who had not lost at home in 16 games.

"We blew three ball games this year and we knew we had to dig ourselves out of a hole," DePaul head coach Doug Bruno said. "I was alarmed (when a defender bumped Powell at the end). Very alarmed. There is a reason we have blown three games. But we used the three to get ourselves inside."

The teams combined for 14 3-pointers in a back-and-forth first half that had seven lead changes. The teams traded six straight threes early as West Virginia forged a 12-8 lead. DePaul (17-7, 6-5) rallied for a 45-41 edge at the break, and neither team led by any more than five points in the second half until DePaul's late run. The Blue Demons made six free throws in the final minute to seal the win.

The Mountaineers made 11 of 22 threes, but that was largely negated by DePaul's 46-32 domination of the boards. That led to a 19-8 advantage in second-chance points for the Demons. Their bench had a 28-13 edge in bench scoring. Both teams wore pink warm-up jerseys in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness. Free tickets were given away, leading to an all-time West Virginia attendance high of 8,307.


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