Hrynko's Heroics in Final Seconds Lift DePaul Past Pittsburgh
Jan. 29, 2013
CHICAGO – All it took was eight seconds for Brittany Hrynko to turn her basketball world around.
Right after her turnover led to the tying basket, Hrynko drove the length of the court and hit the winning shot with four seconds to go in Tuesday night’s dramatic 57-55 BIG EAST Conference victory over Pittsburgh.
“Yeah, I thought about that turnover,” said Hrynko who led all scorers with 19 points. “I wanted to make up for it. I was going for that winning basket no matter what.”
A Chanise Jenkins three-pointer with 2:27 left had put DePaul (16-5, 5-2 in the BIG EAST) ahead 54-47. But Pittsburgh (9-11, 0-7) went on an 8-1 run to tie it at 55-55 after Hrynko’s turnover led to an Ashley Anderson layup with :12 on the clock.
“You can’t draw something up against their press with 12 seconds to go,” said DePaul coach Doug Bruno. “I turned to Brittany and said: ‘We need a basket.’”
Hrynko proceeded to go coast-to-coast and put up a high-arching shot off the backboard.
“Once Kat (Katherine Harry) inbounded the ball to me, I looked at how much time was left,” Hrynko said. “I knew a jump shot wasn’t going to cut it. If I missed, coach would ask why I didn’t drive to the basket.
“I put it up and hoped the referee didn’t call a charge on me. I had leaned forward into the shot.”
After taking some time to celebrate the Blue Demons’ third-straight BIG EAST win and 11th in a row at McGrath-Phillips Arena, Bruno went back to his old coaching self.
“The shot itself, that’s Brittany’s talent,” Bruno said. “I’m proud she had the resolve and moxie to make that shot.
“But if we had made some free throws down the stretch and played with a little more basketball wisdom, we’re walking away with a 10 or 12-point win.”
A Kelsey Reynolds jumper and her critical offensive rebound that led to a Harry basket sparked an 8-2 DePaul run and a 49-42 lead with 4:25 to go. Harry and Jenkins each missed a one-and-bonus free throw in the final 70 seconds.
It was Harry who took the vocal lead on this night, exhorting her teammates to fight through adversity.
“I was trying to keep everybody in the game,” said Harry, who scored 12 points and led the team in rebounds with 14, assists with three and steals with four. “Towards the end, I was telling them we needed one stop and one rebound on defense. If we could do that, we could go down and expand our lead.”
Pittsburgh went into the halftime locker room with a surprising 25-24 lead despite shooting just 29.4 percent from the floor in the first 20 minutes. What kept the Panthers in front were nine offensive rebounds along with 12 DePaul turnovers.
Neither team could build much of a lead in the first half. The Blue Demons trailed 19-17 when they took off on a 7-0 run courtesy of inside baskets by Harry and Megan Podkowa followed by Hrynko’s three-pointer.
That was the longest run by either team in the first half. Pitt responded by scoring the final six points of the half, highlighted by Asia Logan’s back-to-back baskets. Logan finished with 15 points, six rebounds and four steals.
The Blue Demons return to action with a 7 p.m. game Saturday at Marquette.
Notes: DePaul has now won 11-straight at McGrath-Phillips Arena, the streak dates back to a Nov. 17 win over Howard… the Blue Demons have won three straight – first three game winning streak since winning six straight from Dec. 11-Jan. 5… DePaul had just three assists in the first half and finished with nine assists… Katherine Harry lead the way with three assists and had a team-best four steals… with 12 points Katherine Harry now has 1,029 career points and ranks 24th all-time in scoring at DePaul… Harry tallied her seventh double-double of the season with 12 points and 14 rebounds… Harry now ranks 11th all-time in games played with 124… Jasmine Penny fouled out with 2:00 to play… Penny played just 17 minutes her second fewest minutes of the season… Brittany Hrynko led DePaul in scoring for the eighth time this season and for the third straight game… DePaul shot a season-low 7-of-16 (.438) from the free throw line… Pittsburgh was leading 25-24 at the half… four Pitt players – Asia Logan (15), Loliya Briggs (12) Brianna Kiesel (11), Ashlee Anderson (10) all finished in double figures… DePaul has won four straight against Pittsburgh and improves to 7-4 all-time in the series.