Brittany Hrynko scored 20 to help DePaul continue its conference win streak on Wednesday.
Jan. 29, 2014
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CHICAGO - DePaul is riding a hot streak and showing no signs of cooling off.
The Blue Demons won their fifth BIG EAST Conference game in a row Wednesday night with a 91-85 victory over long-time rival Marquette at McGrath-Phillips Arena.
That is their longest conference winning streak since the 2010-11 team won seven straight.
Brittany Hrynko led five scorers in double figures with 20 points and added five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Megan Rogowksi scored 19 points that included five 3-pointers. Jessica January finished with 14 points. Jasmine Penny added 13 points, five rebounds and three steals while Megan Podkowa contributed 11 points and five rebounds. Chanise Jenkins scored nine points, dished out 10 assists and came up with three steals.
"The key to five in double figures is that we try to get everyone involved," Jenkins said. "We pass the ball around and our teammates make cuts and get open for good shots."
DePaul (16-5, 6-2 in the BIG EAST) forced 28 Marquette turnovers. That offset the taller Golden Eagles' 52-29 rebounding advantage.
"Our philosophy is to play the whole court, press and create turnovers to get easy points," Rogowski said. "But we still have to rebound and not let teams get second shots."
Marquette (13-6, 4-4) came within 78-69 with less than seven minutes to go after scoring eight in a row. The lead fluctuated between nine and 11 until the final four minutes.
The Golden Eagles were within seven when Jenkins hit back-to-back baskets. Apiew Ojulu's basket with 38 seconds on the clock left Marquette trailing 88-83. A January free throw and two Hrynko foul shots held off the Golden Eagles. DePaul shot just 56.4 percent from the free throw line.
"We had a big lead, and losing focus was a part of our problem," Jenkins said. "There was also a lack of defensive pressure."
The Blue Demons led by 16 early in the second half when Marquette scored nine unanswered points to draw within 53-46. Back-to-back threes from Rogowski and Podkowa restored a 59-48 lead.
An 11-3 Blue Demon burst in the middle of the second half provided a 70-53 lead as Penny scored consecutive baskets. A Rogowski 3-pointer upped the margin to 18.
"It took us a while to find our rhythm against their zone," said DePaul coach Doug Bruno. "Marquette was trying to take away our 3-point shots and that gave us openings to drive the lane.
"I'm thrilled our team did the job tonight. I'm thrilled we came through the first half of the BIG EAST season within striking distance of grabbing the conference regular-season title."
DePaul went on an early 11-2 run in securing an eight-point lead. The Blue Demons maintained that margin until Marquette scored eight in a row to draw even at 21-21 with less than eight minutes left in the first half.
Despite making just nine of its first 22 shots, DePaul compensated by forcing 14 Golden Eagle turnovers. A 14-4 Blue Demon run produced a 35-25 lead. Included in that surge was Penny's three-point play in which she scored on a backwards, over-the-head shot before converting the free throw.
Hrynko began shooting with confidence near the end of the first half. She hit a jumper and then buried a 3-pointer just before Rogowski hit one of her own to put DePaul in front 47-34.
After a Golden Eagle free throw, Hrynko raced upcourt in the final seconds of the first half, executed a sharp crossover move that had the Marquette defender falling to the court, stepped back and drilled another 3-pointer.
"Brittany was brilliant and flawed within the same game," Bruno said. "We all know she is too good for that."
It gave the home team a 50-35 halftime lead as DePaul forced 19 Marquette turnovers while committing just five of its own. Hrynko had 13 points in the first 20 minutes, Rogowski 10 and Penny nine. Marquette's Cristina Bigica already had a career-high 17 points and finished with 19. DePaul held the BIG EAST's leading scorer and second-leading rebounder Katherine Plouffe to 11 points.
DePaul looks to extend the winning streak with a 1 p.m. BIG EAST game Saturday at Providence.
Notes: This was the 59th meeting all-time between the two schools... the Blue Demons lead the all-time series 37-22... the home team has now won the last five matchups... DePaul eclipsed 20 assists for the 12th time this season... DePaul has made a 3-pointer in 143 consecutive games... the Blue Demons are on a five-game BIG EAST Conference winning streak... last time that happened was during 2010-11 season... with her 17 points, Hrynko moves into 26th all-time on DePaul's scoring list... after attempting six 3-pointers, Hrynko passes Sam Quigley for fourth all-time... with her 10 assists, Jenkins tied her season and career-high... the trio of Hrynko, Penny and Jenkins have started 54 consecutive games... with her five 3-pointers, Rogowski moves into 10th all-time... the Blue Demons are 14-2 this season when leading at half... DePaul is 5-1 this season when five players score in double figures... Marquette set a McGrath-Phillips Arena record committing 31 fouls... DePaul shot a season-high 39 free throws... Marquette dropped only its second road game this season... the Golden Eagles fall to 7-2 when scoring 20 or more bench points... Cristinia Bigica set a career-high with her 19 points... Chelsie Butler scored a career-high 15 points... Marquette had a season-high 28 turnovers... DePaul reached 90 points for the seventh time this season and is undefeated in those contests.