No. 16/23 DePaul Tops No. 18/18 St. John's on the Road
Jan. 8, 2011
#16/23 DePaul 69, #18/18 St. John's 54
NEW YORK (AP) -- DePaul coach Doug Bruno is happy his team is back playing again.
The 16th-ranked Blue Demons had played only once over the last 18 days before beating No. 18/18 St. John's 69-54 on Saturday.
"I was frustrated we had two weeks off," Bruno said. "Players like to play games and I'm glad we're in that rhythm again."
The Blue Demons were supposed to play New Jersey Tech on Dec. 29 but the game was postponed because of the snowstorm that blanketed the East Coast. DePaul routed Providence on Wednesday by 33 points. The Blue Demons have at least two games a week for the rest of the season
On Saturday, Anna Martin scored a season-high 24 points to lead DePaul over the Red Storm.
"Anna filled it up for us," Bruno said. "She's been very good since she's been here. She's a natural scorer."
Taylor Pikes added 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Blue Demons (15-2, 3-0 Big East), who have won 12 of their last 13 games. The lone loss during that span was at Arizona State on Dec. 21.
"It's a great league and to be able to knock off a ranked team on the road is huge," Bruno said. "I'm proud of the way our players did step up and get the job done. It was a total team effort."
Leading by six at halftime, DePaul took control of the game by scoring 14 of the first 18 points in the second half. Martin had eight points during the spurt, including six straight in one stretch.
Deirdre Naughton's layup capped the run and gave DePaul a 47-31 lead. The Red Storm couldn't get within 13 the rest of the game.
Shenneika Smith and Nadirah McKenith each scored nine points to lead St. John's (12-4, 1-2), which had its 13-game home winning streak end.
The Red Storm have now lost three straight games overall and host No. 2 Connecticut on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. St. John's last home loss came against West Virginia last season.
"We still are trying to find ourselves, but we're running out of time," McKenith said. "Games are coming back to back. We need to practice hard and play hard and bounce back."
St. John's center Da'Shena Stevens was honored before the game for becoming the 17th player in school history to score over 1,000 points. The junior didn't start though for one of the rare times in her career and sat for the first 11 1/2 minutes before entering the game with 8:32 left in the first half.
"She broke a team rule and it was disappointing and that's why she came off the bench," St. John's coach Kim Barnes Arico said. "We need to do the right thing all the time and get on the same page and we'll move forward."
She finished the game with just seven points.
"I thought we had our chances and it got away from us in the second half and DePaul's a really good team so we have to get better," Barnes Arico said. "It doesn't get easier playing Connecticut on Wednesday. Right now it's about St. John's and we need to get better every day."
DePaul held a 9-6 lead early on before St. John's went on a 15-4 run over the next 7 minutes. Amanda Burakoski had six points during the spurt including a jumper from the corner that made it 21-13 with 9:27 left in the half.
The Blue Demons scored the next 11 points, hitting two 3-pointers and a three-point play by Keisha Hampton that gave them a 24-21 lead with 4:45 left in the half. DePaul was up 33-27 at the break.
Hampton, who leads the team in scoring averaging 16.4 points, had just seven on 2-for-12 shooting. She did grab a season-best 11 rebounds.
DePaul outrebounded St. John's 48-34.
The Blue Demons return to action on Tuesday, Jan. 11 when they host USF in BIG EAST action in Lincoln Park. DePaul and the Bulls tip at 8 p.m. (CST) and the game will be carried live on CBS College Sports with Brent Stover and Debbie Antonelli calling the action.
Notes: Anna Martin reached the 20 point mark for the fourth time in her career and second time this season... she led all players with 24 points... Keisha Hampton, Taylor Pikes and Felicia Chester all finished with 11 rebounds... first time in 134 games that DePaul has had three players grab 10 or more rebounds in a games... the last time was Dec. 17, 2006 at Illinois Chicago and in that game four, Blue Demons had 10 or more rebounds... Hampton had a season-high 11 rebounds, the sixth time in her career she has notched double-digit rebounds... Pikes came off the bench and recorded her third career double-double, the most by any DePaul player this season... she finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds... she now has 301 career points and 307 career rebounds... first time DePaul has opened BIG EAST Conference play 3-0 since joining the Conference in 2005-06... Connecticut (4-0), West Virginia (3-0) and Louisville (2-0) are the only teams in the league to remain unbeaten in conference play... the last time DePaul started conference play with an unblemished record was in 2003-04 when it was a member of Conference USA... DePaul started league play 6-0... DePaul is now 6-2 in road games this season and first road win over a top 25 opponent this season... the last ranked win on the road was DePaul’s 69-62 win over then-No.19/20 Pittsburgh on Jan. 10, 2009... DePaul is 2-0 against ranked teams this season… DePaul overcame an eight point first half deficit for the win, largest deficit it has overcame all season... St. John’s led 18-10 with 10:05 to play in the first half... DePaul has won 12 of its last 13 games... DePaul's win ended St. John’s 13-game home winning streak... STJ’s last loss came against West Virginia on Jan. 2, 2010... St. John’s has lost its last three games... two of those games have been to top 25 teams -- Maryland and DePaul... first time this season a St. John’s player has not reached double-figures... three players finished with nine points... DePaul leads the all-time series with St. John's 4-2 and is 2-1 in games played at Carnesseca Arena.