Natasha Williams Leads Blue Demons Over Northwestern

CHICAGO The DePaul basketball team outscored Northwestern 33-21 in the second half to win its 34th consecutive game against an opponent from the state of Illinois.  The Blue Demons won the local rival game 60-51, Sunday at McGrath Arena.  The Blue Demons have won their last five games and improve to 9-2, while Northwestern falls to 2-7.

It was a tale of two halves as the Blue Demons were ice cold from the field in the first half while the second half was highlighted with stingy defense, hot shooting and a strong inside presence.   Natasha Williams sparked the Blue Demon offense with a season-high 22 points, while Deirdre Naughton finished 12. Williams also registered with a pair of blocks and three rebounds.  

Cold shooting haunted the Blue Demons in the first half as Keisha Hampton drilled a three for the first points of the game, but the Blue Demons missed their next nine shots while Northwestern made its first four and took a 9-3 lead with 16:07 left in the half. 

Northwestern sustained its advantage and was ahead by as many as seven points until Williams hook shot with one minute remaining in the half gave the Blue Demons their first lead since the opening minutes.   The Wildcats closed out the half with a pair of jumpers to take a 30-27 lead into the second half.

Northwestern shot 52 percent from the field in the first half behind 7-for-9 shooting from Ellen Jaeschke.  Jaeschke finished the half with 15 points to lead all players while she finished the game with 17 points.

The Blue Demons went into the locker room for just the second time this season trailing at the half.  DePaul shot a cold 32 percent while, Williams led the team with 14 first half points.

Down by three, the Blue Demons came out of the locker room a new team.  Sam Quigley converted a pair of free throws and Felicia Chester’s jumper with 18:30 left gave DePaul a 31-30 advantage.

With the lead in hand, the Blue Demons never looked back and used a 20-6 run over the next 7:55 to take a 51-36 lead.  DePaul stretched its lead too as many as 17 on Naugton’s three-point-play with just under two minutes left in the contest. 

Northwestern closed out the game with eight unanswered points, but the Blue Demons lead was too much to overcome as the clock expired.

DePaul shot 41 percent from the field in the second half, while the team forced 15 second half turnovers which proved to be the difference.  DePaul outscored the Wildcats in the paint 40-28.   

The Blue Demons welcome Northern Illinois to McGrath Arena Thursday, Dec. 18.  The 37th all-time meeting between the two teams begins at 7 p.m. in Lincoln Park.

Notes:  The Blue Demons extended their streak to 34 straight wins over opponents from Illinois... DePaul has won 48 of the last 49 and 55 of the last 57 games against Illinois programs...  Natasha Williams’ 22 points were a season-high... Williams has finished with double-figures in her last five games... Felicia Chester took her first career 3-pointer in the second half... DePaul is now 2-2 when scoring less than 70 points this season... the Blue Demons have held nine of their 11 opponents this season to less than 70 points... DePaul’s streak with a three-pointer continued to 117 consecutive games... the Blue Demons have held eight of their first 10 opponents to under 70 points this season...  DePaul is now 93-14 since 2003-04 when holding opponents under 70 points... The NU/DePaul series is knotted at 13 wins apiece... DePaul has won the last 10 meetings between the two teams.



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