Hrynko's Heroics Help DePaul Turn Back Visiting Rutgers, 60-57
Feb. 12, 2013
CHICAGO - Things got interesting after a dominant first half, but a cold-blooded game-winner by Blue Demon guard Brittany Hrynko carried DePaul women's basketball past a tough Rutgers team, 60-57, on Tuesday at McGrath-Phillips Arena.
"Last time you guys were in here with Britt and she hit a game-winning shot, she went to the basket and kind of made one out of nowhere," said head coach Doug Bruno. "And you guys said, `what were you thinking on the last play?' And she said, 'if I took a jump shot coach would really be irritated.' So, I'm not irritated. They have to play, they have to have the guts to take that last shot and I thought her answer was a good one there."
DePaul moves to 18-7 overall and 7-4 in the BIG EAST with the win, while Rutgers slips to 14-9 and 5-5 in league play.
Scarlet Knight head coach, C. Vivian Stringer, was halted in her pursuit of a landmark 900th career coaching victory and will have to wait and try again when Rutgers plays next at home versus No. 2/3 Connecticut on Saturday, Feb. 16. Her career record remains an impressive 899-327 overall in her 42nd season (18th at Rutgers).
"You might not believe this, but I haven't even talked to them about 900," said Stringer. "The only reason I would like to be done with 900 is to be done with it. I'm sick of it, it's a burden more than anything else and I haven't even said one word to this team about it. Because it really doesn't matter."
"We're not the best shooting team in the world, but we can play better than that so I was disappointed. The only thing I wanted was to just play hard and put on a good show. I thought we played more aggressively in the second half, but there wasn't a sense of urgency."
Three Blue Demons reached double figures in scoring, led by Katherine Harry's16-point, five rebound effort. Hrynko added a season-high five steals, seven boards and 15 points in a complete performance to go along with her big shot at the end.
Jasmine Penny also supplied 12 points and six rebounds as the Blue Demons extended their home winning streak to 13 straight games.
Erica Wheeler and Rachel Hollivay led Rutgers with 12 points apiece.
Rutgers jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, but a Penny three-point-play and layup erased the Scarlet Knights quick start in less than a minute.
The Scarlet Knights answered on the other end before a Hrynko triple sparked a 9-2 run over the next five-plus minutes as the Blue Demons led 17-8 after Megan Podkowadrained a deep three with 11:25 to play in the half.
DePaul continued to fire on all cylinders as its high-octane offense pushed the lead to 16 points twice and the Blue Demons went into the locker room up 35-19 behind nine points from Hrynko.
The Blue Demons shot 46.4 percent in the first half while their stingy defense held the Scarlet Knights to 9-of-29 shooting. Rutgers also had 11 turnovers in the first half, leading to 10 Blue Demon points.
Rutgers began the second half by making 4-of-6 and forced a pair of Blue Demon turnovers, which made DePaul head coach Doug Bruno call a timeout with 16:32 left to and the Blue Demons leading 39-27.
The Scarlet Knights continued their surge, taking their first lead since the 17:50 mark of the first half on a jumper by Laney and making it a 50-48 game. The advantage would be short-lived for Rutgers, however, as DePaul got back-to-back layups from Harry and Hrynko to push back out front, 52-51, with 4:57 to go in the game.
DePaul clung to its lead until under the minute mark when a poorly timed turnover led to a fast-break bucket by Rutgers' Syessence Davis, who was fouled during the sequence. Davis could not complete an opportunity for the three-point play, but the score remained locked up at 57-57 going into a timeout with 41.8 seconds remaining.
Hrynko had the ball at the top of the key coming out of another time stoppage and nailed a cold-blooded triple to make it a 60-57 DePaul lead with just 10.2 seconds to play. Rutgers last possession resulted in an air-balled three-point attempt and another missed layup off the rebound as DePaul held on in a wild finish.
Next up for the Blue Demons will be a trip to Louisville on Sunday, Feb. 17 to face the No. 11/10 Cardinals. Tip is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on ESPNU.