The Big East conference slate for the defending Big East champions DePaul is off to a resounding start as they picked up two wins on an East Coast road swing.
On Sunday the Blue Demons faced off against St. John’s, the team picked to place second in the Big East in the coaches’ preseason poll. The Red Storm (12-3, 3-1) came into this game on the cusp of the rankings, receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll, with DePaul ranked No. 25 in the nation.
The Blue Demons controlled the game from the onset, limiting the Red Storms’ leading scorers in Aliyyah Hanford and Danaejah Grant to less than their season averages. On the flip side, Megan Podkowa put in a career high 29 points with nine rebounds for DePaul while Brooke Schulte had a season-high 17 points. The Red Storm went on a 17-3 run in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to ten but DePaul prevailed with a final score of 71-61.
Two days later, DePaul travelled to South Orange, New Jersey, to face off against their toughest opponent from last season, No. 20 Seton Hall. It was Jessica January’s night for the Blue Demons as she recorded the first triple-double since 1989 as she put in 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Chanise Jenkins put in 21 points of her own.
The game was controlled by the Blue Demons the entire way. DePaul (11-5, 3-0) jumped out to an early lead and by halftime were in complete control. They outscored Seton Hall (13-2, 3-1) 29-10 in the second quarter.
In the second half, the Pirates made a run of 17 straight points to cut the lead to 66-58 but DePaul snapped back and were able to seal the game with a final score of 86-74.
With the win, DePaul remains one of the only two teams that are left undefeated in conference play, with Xavier being the other. The Blue Demons host Georgetown on Friday night and then Villanova comes to town Sunday afternoon.