Feb. 6, 2013
Box Score | Video Highlights: Blue Tube
CHICAGO – Jasmine Penny set the tone early, and the rest of the Blue Demons followed her lead Tuesday night at McGrath-Phillips Arena.
Penny connected on her first seven shots en route to scoring a career-high 29 points in DePaul’s 74-48 BIG EAST Conference victory over Seton Hall. Penny was a sizzling 12-of-15 from the floor while also contributing six rebounds, four assists and two steals.
DePaul (17-6, 6-3 in the BIG EAST) won its 12th in a row at home behind a game-defining 19-1 run in the second half.
“I knew I had to run the floor because we had not been doing that the last couple of games,” Penny said. “Our guards kept looking for me. If it wasn’t for the guards we have, I wouldn’t score anything.”
Backcourt mates Brittany Hrynko and Chanise Jenkins combined for 17 points, 15 rebounds, 14 assists and four steals.
“I couldn’t score in the first half,” said Hrynko who was held to one point in the first 20 minutes. “In the second half, I wasn’t going to force anything. I tried to play tough on defense, and I thought our defense was a big key in the second half.”
After a hot-shooting first half in which she went 6-for-6, Penny hit her first shot of the second half and turned it into a three-point play. Penny missed for the first time on DePaul’s next possession, but scored on the rebound.
The Pirates connected on back-to-back threes, but a pair of Penny foul shots put the Blue Demons up 40-26 and launched her team on that 19-1 surge.
Three baskets by Katherine Harry, a Hrynko jumper, one basket by Megan Podkowa followed by a Hrynko three and a highlight-reel layup put the home team in front by 28. A Penny layup upped the margin to 30.
“I struggled in the last two games, fouling out,” Penny said. “The coaches said we needed our post players to score tonight. I had to come out, be aggressive and be a presence on the floor.
“The last couple of games we had not been running the floor. Tonight, our offense got back to playing DePaul ball.”
Playing in the rotation of post players, Podkowa finished with 13 points and six rebounds while center Katherine Harry had eight points, 12 rebounds, three blocks and two steals.
“The key to this game was playing it to our pace,” said DePaul coach Doug Bruno. “Once it got into a higher-possession game, it was beneficial to us.
“I thought we might be able to dominate inside, and that’s what we did. Brittany made a sacrifice tonight. Running those things for our big people didn’t give our guards as much space.
“Brittany does a lot for us on the offensive end, and her defense can get overlooked. I thought her defense in the second half was one of the keys.”
DePaul outscored Seton Hall 46-18 in the paint and out-rebounded the Pirates 50-33.
Bruno & Co. were unable to take advantage of Seton Hall’s errant shooting in the early going. The Pirates opened the game hitting just two of their first 11 shots. They finished 19-of-59 from the floor.
Just before the midpoint of the first half, Podkowa launched the Blue Demons on a 15-2 run. Penny scored three baskets in a row and four all together in the surge. Gena Lenti hit a three-pointer from the corner and Harry finished off the burst.
Seton Hall (8-14, 3-6 BIG EAST) had missed its first nine attempts from three-point range when Terry Green finally converted. Hrynko’s technical foul shot left DePaul with a 25-15 lead in the final four minutes of the first half.
Yet another Penny basket followed by a pair of free throws extended the lead to 14. Penny’s layup sent DePaul into its halftime locker room with a 33-20 advantage. The Blue Demons were credited with 13 assists on their 14 baskets and wound up with a sparkling 25 assists on 31 baskets.
Penny made every shot she took in the first 20 minutes and scored 14 points. Seton Hall made just eight of 29 shots in the first half.
DePaul heads to No. 3/2 Connecticut for a 2:30 p.m. game on Sunday that will be televised by ESPNU.
Notes: DePaul won its 12-consecutive game at McGrath-Phillips Arena… DePaul is now 13-1 on its home court this season… DePaul had 25 assists... the 12th time this season DePaul has recorded 20 or more assists… Jasmine Penny scored a career-high 29 points… her previous career-high was 25 at Notre Dame on Feb. 5, 2012… Kelsey Reynolds got her first start of the season… DePaul has now used five different lineups this season… only Harry, Penny and Hrynko have started all 23 games this season… Harry appeared in her 126th career game which ranks ninth in DePaul’s record book… Harry had 12 rebounds and eclipsed the double digits for the 15th time this season and in her last four games… Brittany Hrynko now has 66 3-pointers this season which ranks ninth in DePaul’s single-season record book… now has 186 3-point attempts this season which ties for the sixth most in a single season… Hrynko tied a career-high with nine assists which she has done three times… Seton Hall has dropped its last two games… bot games have been road games… is 1-7 in road games this season… DePaul has now won the last eight series meetings and improves to 8-1 in its series with Seton Hall.