DePaul women’s basketball rolls to 102-63 victory over Butler on senior day

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The women's basketball team watches a post-game video honoring the seniors. (Connor O'Keefe / The DePaulia)

The women’s basketball team watches a post-game video honoring the seniors. (Connor O’Keefe / The DePaulia)

Seniors Chanise Jenkins and Megan Podkowa were subbed out of the game with just over seven minutes to go, leading to a standing ovation on senior day. They had just finished taking two techinical shots each, earned after Butler’s head coach Kurt Godlevske was ejected on a double-technical.

It was what they had made a career doing: taking advantage of scoring opportunities after frustrating opponents. Their senior day game was full of those opportunities as they rolled to a 102-63 win over Butler.

“(Jenkins and Podkowa) are two of the most special people I’ve coached,” head coach Doug Bruno said. “As far as college basketball players, they’re two of the best I’ve ever coached.”

With the win, DePaul clinched at least a share of the Big East regular season title, the third year in a row they’ve done so.

“It feels great and (Bruno) was telling us that we’re one of the first teams to do that in the Big East,” Jenkins said. “We’re happy to say that we imprinted that and that it’s ours.”

DePaul improved to 13-2 in the conference and 21-7 overall. As well as winning the Big East conference regular season title, the Blue Demons also clinched the No. 1 seed for the Big East tournament, which will take place at McGrath Phillips Arena on March 6-9. DePaul has won the tournament the past two seasons.

In the first quarter Butler jumped out to an early lead. Bolstered by nine points on three three-pointers by Blaire Langlois, the Bulldogs went up 11-4 just under three minutes in. The Blue Demons went on a 7-0 run to tie it, however, and then started to take over. Jenkins laid a ball in as the buzzer went off to give the Blue Demons a 21-17 lead at the end of the first.

“It took us awhile to get going,” Bruno said. “I think we wore them down and our defense did a better job in the second quarter.”

The second quarter was the opposite of the first where DePaul stopped struggling and started to take over the game. The Blue Demons only allowed eight points as they finished the second half on an 11-0 run to take a 45-25 lead at the break. The only similarity was that Jenkins laid in another basket as time expired to bring her to 10 points so far. Junior guard Jessica January led the game with 12. Langlois, who had been such a force in the first quarter, was scoreless in the second.

The Blue Demons stayed course in the third quarter, incrementally increasing their lead to go up 73-48 at the end of the quarter. Jenkins attempted a three-quarter court shot at the buzzer but this time it did not go in. Sophomore guard Ashton Millender came alive this quarter and jumped out to 13 points at that point in the game. Langlois stepped back in to have 19 points at the end of the third.

By this point, the Blue Demons were in full control. They continued to build their lead in the fourth quarter while young players such as Freshman Tanita Allen and sophomore Amarah Coleman were able to earn playing time. They broke the century mark just before time ran out, going out to a 102-63 victory.

DePaul still has three more regular season games, as well as the Big East tournament and likely the NCAA tournament.

“This is nowhere near the end, we still have a lot more games to play,” Podkowa said. “But it was nice  to get the win in our last regular season game here.”