Chanise Jenkins scored a career-high 21 points and added eight assists in the loss on Saturday.
Jan. 11, 2014
CHICAGO - DePaul ran into a hot-shooting St. John's team Saturday afternoon at McGrath-Phillips Arena.
The Blue Demons couldn't overcome the Red Storm's 60.3 percent shooting from the field in a 96-86 BIG EAST Conference loss.
Jasmine Penny led DePaul (11-5, 2-2 BIG EAST) with 23 points, five rebounds and four blocks while Chanise Jenkins finished with a career-high 21 points, eight assists and five rebounds. Brittany Hrynko came through with 13 points, seven assists and four steals in only 18 minutes.
Aliyyah Handford led St. John's (10-5, 3-1 BIG EAST) with 21 points.
St. John's maintained control of the game early in the second half. Penny scored six consecutive points for her team, but Danaejah Grant's basket restored a 50-34 Red Storm advantage.
The Red Storm opened the half going 12-for-12 from the field. Grant scored four consecutive baskets that led to a 60-41 margin. A Jenkins three-pointer followed by a Centrese McGee jumper made it 62-48 midway through the second half.
Three Penny points and a Jessica January layup had DePaul on a 10-0 run and the deficit down to 62-53 with less than 10 minutes to go.
Back came St. John's with seven unanswered points for a 69-53 lead. Trailing by 16, the Blue Demons mounted a late rally but couldn't come any closer than the final margin.
"The first five minutes of the game is where we got beat today," said DePaul coach Doug Bruno. "We dug ourselves a hole and didn't have the defense to make stops all night. We couldn't make a stop starting out the second half.
"There are some good players on the other side of the court. That team has talent and is not easy to guard. It's hard to chase players all over the court like our players did. I was proud of the way we battled back after being down by 19 in the second half."
Making six of its first 10 shots helped St. John's in jumping out to a 20-9 lead midway through the first half. By that point, DePaul had hit on just three of its first 13 shots.
The Red Storm extended the lead to 28-16 and was shooting 61 percent from the floor. A layup by Briana Brown put St. John's ahead by 14 and capped off an 8-2 burst.
Free throws by Jenkins and Penny along with a Rogowski basket reduced the deficit to 30-22 with less than three minutes until halftime. A Penny layup finished off an 8-0 run and brought the Blue Demons within six.
St. John's responded with a Brown three-pointer and a Sandra Udobi score inside for a 35-24 lead at halftime.
"The way you come back is one possession at a time," Penny said. "But we didn't do a good job defensively."
Hrynko looked like the player from last season, scoring 13 points in five minutes down the stretch.
"I love Brittany like a daughter," Bruno said. "She needs to quit thinking so much and just play."
Next up for DePaul is a 6 p.m. BIG EAST matchup Tuesday at Seton Hall.
Notes: DePaul leads the all-time series 6-4, but has dropped two straight to St. John's... Brittany Hrynko started her 80th consecutive game and was held scoreless until 5:05 remained in the game... she closed the game with 13 points... DePaul's 24 points in the first half were a season-low... the previous low came in the Blue Demons' second game of the season against Duquesne when they scored 38 on Nov. 9... the Blue Demons' 11-point deficit at the half, 35-24, was their largest of the season... previous high was a four-point deficit at Notre Dame on Nov. 26... Penny reached the 20-point plateau for the fifth straight game, finishing with 23 points... Jenkins finished with a career-high 21 points, surpassing her previous best 19 at Bradley on Dec. 29, 2013... St. John's finished the game with a 60.3 percent shooting percentage, which was the highest by a DePaul opponent since Feb. 5, 2011 at No. 2 Connecticut.