CHICAGO (AP) — DePaul head coach Doug Bruno was pleased that his team put together a strong effort for the entire game.
The No. 10/11 Blue Demons solved No. 18/18 Georgetown’s press early, dominated the boards and had a balanced offense on the way to an 82-57 victory over the Hoyas on Sunday.
“This season we have not been consistent in the second half,” Bruno said. “We’ve played some great halves of basketball and then let up. I thought we did a much better job tonight of keeping the pedal to the floor and keeping the intensity level in the second half and putting together two halves of basketball.”
DePaul solidified its hold on second in the BIG EAST as Sam Quigley scored 14 points to lead six DePaul players in double figures. The Blue Demons also wrapped up a bye to the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Championship with the win.
Katherine Harry had 10 points and 12 rebounds and four other players reached double digits for the Blue Demons (25-3, 12-1 BIG EAST). DePaul reached 12 wins in the conference for the first time ever.
“We needed to win the battle of the backboard and we won it convincingly in the first half (22-10) and still won it overall for the game (43-35),” said Bruno. “(Katherine) was very live when the game started.”
The Blue Demons has won 12 of its last 13 games with the lone loss coming at UConn. DePaul has won 18 straight at home.
Sugar Rodgers scored 20 points and Tia Magee added 12 for the Hoyas (20-7, 8-5 BIG EAST).
Georgetown led 10-8 early helped by Adria Crawford’s two 3-pointers. But DePaul shook off early Hoyas pressure and began penetrating inside during a 14-0 run over a 5:47 span.
The Blue Demons hit four inside baskets and added a pair of Deirdre Naughton 3 pointers to open a 22-10 lead.
Naughton closed the half with 11 points as DePaul extended its advantage to 37-24 at the break.
The Blue Demons lead never dipped below 13 in the second half and they closed the game with a 14-4 run over the final 7:52. Keisha Hampton, Anna Martin, Taylor Pikes and Naughton each had 12 for DePaul.
Georgetown shot just 25.6 percent (10-of-39) in the second half and 19-of-63 (30.2 percent) for the game. DePaul shot 54 percent, including making 14 of 22 3-pointers.
After a solid start defensively, the Hoyas pressure abruptly faltered.
“I have no idea (why). They broke the press, they got layups,” said Georgetown head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. “DePaul’s a very good team, we knew that coming in. They’re well-coached, well balanced and can shoot the three.”
Georgetown, ranked in the top 20 all season, had won six straight until a 75-71 overtime loss at St. John’s last weekend.
The Blue Demons are at Louisville and Marquette before concluding the BIG EAST season next Monday at home against Notre Dame. Georgetown hosts Pittsburgh on Wednesday and Connecticut on Saturday.
Material from interviews, the Associated Press wire service as well as league and team sources was used in this report.