Blue Demons Press the Issue in 78-54 BIG EAST Quarterfinal Victory over Georgetown
March 9, 2014
ROSEMONT, Ill. – Shrugging off a sluggish start, No. 25/25 DePaul put on quite a show Sunday night at Allstate Arena.
Sparked by a full-court press in the second half, the Blue Demons knocked off Georgetown 78-54 in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Conference Tournament.
DePaul (25-6) advances to the semifinals to face the winner of Sunday's Villanova-Marquette quarterfinal at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.
Megan Podkowa and Megan Rogowski each scored 17 points to lead the Blue Demons. Jasmine Penny added 14 points while Jessica January contributed 11 points and eight rebounds. Logan Battle paced Georgetown (12-21) with a game-high 20 points.
“We had to grind this one out a little defensively and with our pressing,” said DePaul coach Doug Bruno. “We made some decisions in the second half. Megan Podkowa and Jasmine Penny gave us a lift with their play inside.
“We did a good job in the second half getting more focused offensively. Brittany Hrynko (six points, five assists, three steals) was an unsung facilitator, making sure the ball went where it needed to go. With Chanise Jenkins in foul trouble, Brit really took over at the point.”
Rogowski opened the second half with a 3-pointer that was followed by a pair of January free throws and a Penny fast-break layup. That moved DePaul in front 40-22 as its full-court pressure was causing all kinds of problems for the Hoyas.
The press quickened the pace of the game as the Blue Demons forced 28 Georgetown turnovers. DePaul outrebounded Georgetown 49-36.
Another Rogowski three extended the run to 11-0. After a Georgetown score, Rogowski buried a pair of free throws for a 45-24 lead.
“Even though I was missing in the first half, everyone on the bench, assistant coach Bart Brooks---they all kept encouraging me to shoot,” Rogowski said. “That’s what shooters do---they shoot. In the second half, they started to fall.”
Georgetown’s dominant inside force, 6-foot, 5-inch Natalie Butler, was forced to sit after being whistled for her fourth foul with more than 16 minutes to go. Nine unanswered Hoya points cut the margin to 14 when a patented DePaul run restored a 21-point lead midway through the second half.
“Our guards were hitting us with great passes,” Podkowa said. “Jasmine and I looked to attack inside and played aggressive basketball. Even if we missed, we drew a foul.
“Defensively against Butler, I tried to prevent her from getting the ball. I stayed in front of her and tried to move her back.”
Before the game, the Blue Demons were presented with the trophy proclaiming them BIG EAST regular-season champions.
That’s just the beginning of their postseason journey.
“I look on this event as the beginning of a beautiful thing,” Bruno said. “Megan Rogowski's family bought 215 tickets. My dream and vision is to drive by Allstate Arena and see the parking lot jammed for women’s basketball.
We’re on a higher mission---let’s make this the city of women’s basketball.”
DePaul led by seven early in the first half when an uncharacteristic dry spell saw the tournament’s top-seeded team go more than five minutes without a point. Georgetown took full advantage, going on an 11-0 run to secure a 19-14 lead.
Podkowa’s reverse layup past the intimidating Butler snapped the scoring drought. That launched a seven-point Podkowa burst that put her team back on top 21-18. A Penny jumper and a January layup off a nice scoop feed from Rogowski made it an 11-0 DePaul run and a 25-18 lead.
Closing out the first half on a 6-0 spurt sent the Blue Demons into their locker room with a 33-22 lead. Penny and Podkowa combined for 21 of DePaul’s first-half points. They made seven of 11 shots while the rest of the rest of the team went 4-for-24. In the first 20 minutes, the Blue Demons went 2-of-18 from three-point range.