Blue Demons Stumble at West Virginia
Box Score - Postgame Audio
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – A 14-point halftime deficit was too much to overcome as the DePaul women’s basketball team dropped an 82-70 decision at West Virginia. The No. 13/11 Blue Demons lost for the second straight game and trailed the Mountaineers by as many as 17 points.
West Virginia hit three of their first four shots and the Blue Demons turned the ball over three times to give the Mountaineers a 7-0 lead in the first 2:40.
Caprice Smith answered with a personal five-point flurry on a baseline jumper and three-pointer from the left wing to trim the deficit to 8-5 with 15:37 left. The run continued with a Jarietta Benton jumper before two Tameka Kelly free throws put West Virginia back ahead by three points.
Kelly’s free shots spurned the home team to score eight of the game’s next 10 points for a 17-10 lead. DePaul came back to within a point at 18-17 only to see West Virginia push ahead again with seven straight points for a 24-16 advantage with 7:45 left in the first half.
Back-to-back three-pointers by LaQuita Owens keyed a half-ending 14-4 run to send the Mountaineers into the intermission ahead, 42-28. West Virginia knocked down 16-of-25 shots in the first period, including five three-pointers.
DePaul opened the second half with five straight points only to see West Virginia follow that and raise them one with six consecutive points.
A three-pointer by Allie Quigley and a fast break layup by Erin Cattell brought the Blue Demons to within eight at 56-48 with 13:12 left in the game.
Rachael Carney followed Cattell with a three-pointer to cut the lead to five points at 12:17, but the five-point deficit would be as close as the Blue Demons would get. Chakhia Cole hit a jumper on West Virginia’s next possession and sparked a 16-4 run that ended with Owens’ sixth three-pointer of the night and a 72-55 Mountaineer lead with just over five minutes left.
West Virginia (12-7, 4-4 BIG EAST) hit 10-of-14 free throws in the final five minutes with DePaul getting as close as 10 points on a three-pointer by Cattell with 32 seconds on the clock.
Khara Smith led DePaul (18-4, 5-4) with 20 points and six rebounds while Quigley added 14 points, three assists and two steals. Rubino chipped in 12 points, five rebounds and three assists followed by Caprice Smith and Cattell with eight points each.
Owens, who started in place of the injured Meg Bulger, totaled a career-high 20 points and led five Mountaineers in double-figures. Bulger, the team’s leading scorer and the league’s top three-point shooter, suffered a knee injury on Sunday afternoon at St. John’s.
The Blue Demons continue the two-game road trip with a Saturday afternoon contest at Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights, ranked No. 9 in both national polls, and Blue Demons tip off at 2 p.m. EST in New Brunswick, N.J.
Game Notes: DePaul dropped back-to-back games for the first time since losing at Purdue and Tennessee in Dec. 2004… the Blue Demons were outrebounded for the third straight game and registered a season low in rebounds (27) for the second straight game… the 27 boards were the lowest team total since tallying 27 against Marquette on Mar. 5, 2004 in the Conference USA Tournament… Khara Smith’s 20 points marked her 43rd career game of at least 20 points… Jarietta Benton played for the first time since the Missouri State game… Allie Quigley joined the team at the arena prior to the game after attending a family funeral on Tuesday morning… the Blue Demons have scored less than 80 points in four straight games, but have allowed at least 80 in back-to-back games… in the last three games, DePaul is 23-for-81 (.284) from the three-point line… the series is now tied at 1-1 with Tuesday serving as the first meeting since 1980.