UPDATED: DePaul women’s basketball extends win streak to five with 91-85 win over Marquette

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To DePaul women’s basketball head coach Doug Bruno, Wednesday’s game against Marquette was a separation game in the Big East.

Sitting at 6-2 in the Big East, a victory would keep DePaul at the top of the Big East. Marquette, who was 4-3 in the conference, could make noise with an upset win over DePaul.

“This could have been two teams with three (conference) losses at the end of this,” Bruno said. “Creighton and St. John’s would have been at the top.”

Megan Rogowski scored 19 points and four other Blue Demons finished in double figures Wednesday to lead DePaul women’s basketball to a 91-85 victory over Marquette, the team’s fifth in a row.

The five-game winning streak is DePaul’s longest since the 2010-2011 season.

DePaul  (16-5, 7-2) was in control throughout the game despite Marquette (13-6, 4-4) shooting 50 percent and outrebounding DePaul, 52-29. DePaul forced 28 turnovers , however, and went 11-26 from downtown.  Rogowski led the team with five 3-pointers.

“We executed many great possession on that floor tonight and we still had a regression night as well,” Bruno said. “The reason we’ve won 12 out of the last 14 is we’ve been really strong defensively and really rebounding well as an undersized basketball team.

“Tonight, we had some great possessions and then we also had some possessions where we didn’t rebound, defend or play with the offensive intelligence necessary to keep getting better,” he said.

Some of DePaul’s better basketball happened when it came to assists. The team had 21 assists, 10 of them coming from Chanise Jenkins.

DePaul went on a series of runs to give them a substantial lead. In the first half, The Blue Demons answered a 8-0 run by Marquette by going on a 16-6 spur themselves, putting DePaul ahead 37-27.

A crossover by Brittany Hrynko led to a buzzer-beating 3-point at the end of the half as DePaul went into halftime with a 50-35 lead.

Hrynko finished with 20 points and four assists. She also struggled with her decision making, having a season high eight turnovers.

In the second half, Marquette pulled the game back in single digits on multiple occasions.  Marquette used their height to give DePaul problems, especially when switching to a zone defense.
“We’ve been undersized all year, but we can’t let that get in our way,” Rogowski said. “We knew they were big and rebounding was huge.”

The closest the Golden Eagles got was in the final minute when they down just five, 88-83, with 20.7 seconds left.  DePaul’s largest lead was 19 with 9:51 to go in the game.

Marquette’s Cristina Bigica led her team with a career-high 19 points, 17 of them coming in the first half.  Forward Katherine Plouffe, Marquette’s leading scorer, also got going in the second half with 11 points.
“I would say lack of focus was a little bit of the problem,”  Jenkins said. “But at the same time, there was a lack of defense. I think we lacked a lot of our defensive pressure.”

Free throws would seal the game for DePaul. The Blue Demons shot 22-39 from the free throw line.

“What was really cool about the four-game winning streak until tonight is that we saw the team getting better, eliminating some of the slippage of unintelligent play,” Bruno said. “Then tonight, we had some slippage again. We have stop having a tale of two games within a game…You can’t have a good game and a bad game all within the same game. Thank God we ended up winning tonight.”