Blue Demons Drop Second Straight Road Game
FORT WORTH, Texas – A dismal .194 field goal percentage in the second half led No. 11 DePaul to a 73-53 loss at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum on Sunday afternoon. The Blue Demons opened the game going 8-of-15 from the field, but hit only 6-of-31 shots in the second half. No. 17 TCU took advantage of DePaul’s misfortune and moved into sole possession of second place in the C-USA standings.
DePaul (22-4, 10-3 C-USA) jumped out to an early 14-5 lead behind seven points from Ashley Luke and a pair of jumpers by Khara Smith. The Horned Frogs answered behind a pair of Sandora Irvin buckets to cut the deficit to five points.
The Blue Demons pushed the lead back to 19-11 on Luke’s second three of the afternoon with just over 12 minutes left in the first half.
With the visitors leading, 21-13, TCU (22-4, 11-2 C-USA) put together a 7-0 run to close to within a point before Jenni Dant’s driving baseline lay-up and Jenna Rubino’s breakaway lay-in put the Blue Demons up, 25-20, with 7:30 left in the first stanza.
TCU hit five of their next six shots and took a 31-29 lead on Kim Ortega’s three-pointer with just under five minutes left in the first half. Dant hit a free throw and was followed by an Irvin jumper to make the score 33-30 at the final media time out of the first half.
The Horned Frogs scored the final six points of the first half and went to the lockerroom with a 39-30 lead at halftime. Khara Smith scored 12 points in the first half making her the 19th player in program history with 1,000 career points. She also pulled down 10 rebounds for her 19th double-double of the season.
TCU scored 12 of the first 16 points of the second half to take a 51-34 advantage with 15:32 left. Following a second Blue Demon time out of the second half, the lead increased to 57-40 on a jumper by Adrianne Ross at the 10-minute mark.
DePaul struggled in the second half going just 4-of-25 from the field over the first 15 minutes. A three-pointer by Ross put the Horned Frogs up 71-50 with 1:34 left. Luke finished the game with her third three-pointer to make the score 73-53.
The 20-point loss for the Blue Demons the first since losing 75-51 against Cincinnati on Feb. 17, 2002.
Luke led the Blue Demons with 15 points while Khara Smith added 14 and matched her career-high 16 boards. Dant added 11 points while Charlene Smith chipped in nine points. Irvin led four Horned Frogs with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
DePaul looks to get back in the win column the regular-season finale at Marquette next Sunday. Tipoff at the Al McGuire Center in Milwaukee is set for 2 p.m.
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