Feb. 15, 2014
Box Score | Highlights
CHICAGO – Seton Hall had a player with the last name of Ali, but it was DePaul that delivered the knockout punch on Saturday.
Led by Megan Rogowski’s 27 points (7-of-9 from three-point range) and Jasmine Penny with 21 points and five rebounds, the Blue Demons decked Seton Hall 89-73 in a BIG EAST Conference matchup at McGrath-Phillips Arena.
It was DePaul’s ninth win in a row as coach Doug Bruno’s team improved to 20-5 on the season and 11-2 in conference. Chanise Jenkins finished with 11 points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals while Brittany Hrynko tied a career high with 12 assists and added six points, five rebounds and three steals.
“This was an important game to win in the beginning of our stretch run,” Bruno said. “We can still get a lot better which excites me.
“You want your players to ride the crest of their success, but not allow them to get slap-happy and overconfident. Don’t confuse wins with the bigger picture of striving to get even better.”
Rogowski opened the second half with---what else?---a 3-pointer, her sixth of the game. The Blue Demon lead remained in the mid-teens.
Seton Hall (14-10, 5-8) pulled within 57-45 when a Jessica January basket followed by Megan Podkowa’s 3-pointer from the top of the key pushed the margin back to 17.
The Pirates pulled to within 64-54 when Podkowa (eight points, seven rebounds) and Brandi Harvey-Carr scored on three-point plays. After a Pirate basket, Hrynko connected on a 3-pointer. Harvey-Carr’s foul shot made it 74-56. Rogowski’s seventh 3-pointer upped the lead to 20.
Ka-Deidre Simmons led Seton Hall with 20 points while Tabitha Smith-Richardson had 17 points and Bra’Shey Ali had a game-high nine rebounds.
“Today, the ball was going in,” said Rogowski who came within one of the McGrath-Phillips Arena 3-point record that she set in a Jan. 8 victory over Providence. “Chanise, Brit (Hrynko), and Jess (January) did a great job finding me with the ball, and we had great movement to get open shots.”
Each time Seton Hall started to narrow the gap, the Blue Demons responded.
“That comes from sticking together and playing smart,” Penny said. “They started getting a little closer because we were making defensive mistakes.”
DePaul came out firing, making 10 of its first 12 shots. Nobody was hotter than Rogowski who swished her first four attempts from beyond the three-point arc and seven of her first eight.
“You have to love a kid when she’s in a zone like that,” Bruno said.
Rogowski’s four-point play followed by a Jenkins steal and layup gave the Blue Demons a 24-11 lead. The home team kept scoring the ball, but Seton Hall picked up its offensive pace in the middle of the first half and drew within 31-28 on back-to-back Tabitha Smith-Richardson baskets and a Brittany Webb layup.
DePaul built a 36-28 advantage when the Pirates whittled their deficit to 36-32. That’s when Penny and Rogowski scored back-to-back to ignite a 13-0 run and send their team into halftime with a 49-33 lead.
Rogowski had 19 points in the first 20 minutes and made five of her first six from behind the arc. Penny had 15 points in the first half and Jenkins 11.
DePaul returns to action on Tuesday with a 7 p.m. game at BIG EAST rival Marquette (17-7, 8-5).
Notes: The Blue Demons reached the 20-win plateau for the seventh straight season and 22nd time in program history... Doug Bruno coached his 850th career game... Hrynko reached double-digits in assists for the third time this season and finished with 12, tying a career-high... DePaul improved to 10-1 all-time against Seton Hall, including wins in 10 straight matchups... the Blue Demons have won 16 of their past 18 games and increased their longest-ever BIG EAST Conference winning streak to nine straight victories... DePaul reached the 80-point plateau for the 16th time in 25 games this season... Penny reached the 20-point mark for the ninth time this season and second straight game... Rogowski and Penny gave DePaul two 20-plus point scorers for the second time this season and first since Jan. 8 vs. Providence...