March 17, 2012
Box Score: DePaul 59, BYU 55 | Postgame Notes | Postgame Quotes | Photo Gallery
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ROSEMONT, Ill. -- DePaul earned another shot at taking down Tennessee by holding off BYU.
Anna Martin led a balanced attack with 17 points as DePaul claimed a 59-55 victory against the Cougars in the first round of the NCAA women's tournament Saturday at the Allstate Arena.
BYU (26-7) fought back from a late eight-point deficit and had a chance to tie with 2.8 seconds to play. But Haley Steed's 3 point try missed, DePaul (23-10) rebounded and Steed fouled Brittany Hrynko.
Hrynko added a free throw and closed with 15 points while Katherine Harry and Jasmine Penny had 12 each. Harry added nine rebounds to pace the Blue Demon on the boards. Deanna Ortiz and Penny both paced the floor with four steals each.
Jennifer Hamson had 21 points for BYU and Kristen Riley had 10 and 12 rebounds.
Martin scored six points as a fast-starting DePaul hit 5 of its first 7 shots to open an early 10-1 lead.
Hamson collected six more points over a six minute span as the Cougars forced a 12-12 tie and took their first lead at 14-12 on Dani Peterson's bank shot with 10:55 left in the half.
BYU never trailed through the balance of a tight first half, but never extended a lead beyond five points. The Blue Demons twice rallied to tie in the final 1:32, but the Cougars opened a 29-27 lead on a pair of Lexi Eaton free throws.
DePaul then took over in the second half.
The Blue Demons took advantage of five Cougars turnovers and opened the second half with 14 unanswered points -- including five from Hrynko -- for a 41-29 lead at the 14:30 mark.
BYU broke the run at 13:41 on Easton's layup, but still trailed 45-34 when Steed when to work.
Steed hit back-to-back 3 pointers -- her first field goals of the game -- to briefly trim the deficit to 45-40.
BYU hit two more 3-pointers and cut the lead to 54-48 with 3:26 on Vermunt's long-distance shot.
The Cougars continued to chip away and trimmed the deficit to 58-55 on Lexi Eaton's 3 with 41.8 seconds left.
The Cougars were making their first NCAA trip since 2007. They won the West Coast Conference tournament earlier this month for an automatic berth.
The Blue Demons are a tournament regular, qualifying yearly since 2003. They reached the NCAA Sweet 16 last year before falling to Duke and also advanced in 2006. The program's 2006 trip to the Sweet 16 came after it won its first and second round games - the last time DePaul hosted at the Allstate Arena.
The seventh-seeded Blue Demons (23-10) will play No. 2 Tennessee at 8:30 p.m. on Monday.