Dec. 21, 2012
CHICAGO – Most teams have difficulty matching up against the Blue Demon backcourt.
And when the talented triumvirate of Anna Martin, Brittany Hrynko and Chanise Jenkins comes to play, it results in the kind of 86-75 victory DePaul chalked up against Princeton Friday night at McGrath-Phillips Arena.
Hrynko led her team with a season-high 21 points while adding four assists and four steals. Martin finished with 20 points, six assists and three steals while Jenkins tied a career high with 14 points and collected four assists.
Along with guard Megan Rogowski scoring 10 points off the bench, the Blue Demon backcourt accounted for 65 of the team’s 86 points. Forward Jasmine Penny contributed 13 points and seven rebounds before fouling out late in the second half.
“It’s fun to play with guards with that kind of skill,” Martin said. “Britt and Chanise are so quick.
“We know if one of us is a little off that the other two can have a real good night. We all lean on each other.”
They picked a good night to combine their talent because Princeton (7-5) was in the mood for an upset.
Just as DePaul (10-3) seemed to have things under control when a 7-0 run provided a 73-59 lead, Princeton came roaring back. Blake Dietrick scored eight consecutive points, including a pair of three-pointers, and the Tigers clawed to within 73-67 with 3 minutes, 30 seconds left in the game.
Martin and Niveen Rasheed exchanged three-point plays. A pair of Jasmine Penny free throws gave the Blue Demons a 78-70 lead, but Rasheed came right back with a pair of foul shots.
Rogowski’s layup made it 80-72, and six free throws down the stretch (four by Martin) iced it. DePaul finished the game making 13 free throws in a row and shot a season-high 91.3 percent (21-of-23) on the night.
“Princeton is a really talented team that I believe will make the NCAA tournament,” said DePaul coach Doug Bruno. “Niveen Rasheed (21 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, three steals) is a very talented player who doesn’t receive the credit she deserves.
“Rasheed would start for any team in the BIG EAST Conference---including Connecticut and Notre Dame.”
A fast start to the second half secured a 15-point lead for DePaul after leading by 11 at halftime. The Tigers whittled the deficit down to 48-40.
Three-pointers by Jenkins and Rogowski helped boost the home team to a 58-45 lead in the middle of the second half.
After Hrynko’s driving layup made it 64-49, Princeton went on an 8-0 spurt to trail 64-57 off a Dietrick three-pointer. Dietrick wound up with 16 points.
“I’m proud of the way we faced adversity tonight,” Bruno said. “I would have liked to see us extend the lead when it got to 14, but Princeton had a lot to do with that. We still got 86 points against a very good defensive team.”
Jenkins and Hrynko got off to a dual fast start, combining to score 13 of their team’s first 18 points. They hit three of their first attempts from three-point land and made five-of-six shots overall.
A pair of Penny baskets and another Hrynko jumper gave the Blue Demons a 26-17 lead with less than eight minutes left in the first half.
After Penny made it 35-24, Princeton scored the next five points to draw within 35-29. DePaul responded with a 6-1 run to finish out the first half and take a 41-30 lead into the locker room.
After celebrating Christmas, the Blue Demons return to McGrath-Phillips Arena for a 7 p.m. game next Friday against Oral Roberts.
Notes: DePaul now leads the all-time series 2-0 and is 7-0 against Ivy League opponents… the Blue Demons are now on a four game winning streak… DePaul has now made a three-pointer in 106 straight games… DePaul had two players reach the 20-point plateau for the third time this season… freshman guard Chanise Jenkins tied a career-high with 14 points… sophomore guard Brittany Hrynko set a season-high with 21 points and four steals… DePaul sank 21-of-23 from the free throw line to set a season-high percentage (91.3%)… Anna Martin and Jasmine Penny both reached double figures for the sixth straight game… Princeton’s Niveen Rasheed has led the Tigers in scoring and posted double-doubles in both matchups against the Blue Demons the past two seasons, the guard finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds.