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DePaul women’s basketball advances to Big East semifinals with 78-54 win against Georgetown

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ROSEMONT, Ill. – Leading up to the Big East tournament, head coach Doug Bruno briefly mentioned how underrated forward Megan Podkowa was and how much of a jump she made in her sophomore year.

If Podkowa was flying under the radar, Sunday was her coming out party.

Podkowa scored 17 points, Megan Rogowski scored 17 and Jasmine Penny added 13 in a 78-54 rout over Georgetown. The Blue Demons advance to the semifinals where they will take on the winner of Marquette and Villanova on Monday at 5:30 p.m.

“I thought Podkowa really gave us a good lift inside early,” Bruno said. “I thought she played magnificently well…I thought she settled down and played some nice ball down the stretch.”

DePaul (25-6) got off to an uncharacteristically slow start to the beginning of the game. They committed five turnovers in the first nine minutes and trailed 18-14. They also struggled to shoot from 3-point range, going 2-18 in the first half.

However, the Blue Demons’ pressure started to kick in and it was Georgetown who was turning the ball over. Georgetown (12-21) ended the half with 15 turnovers and an 11-0 run swung the game back in DePaul’s favor, giving the Blue Demons a 25-18 lead with 4:44 left.

“We weren’t successful in trying to negate their pressure,” Georgetown head coach Jim Lewis said. “DePaul is a very good defensive team. I think a lot people look at their high scoring average, which they led the conference in, but there is a means by which they get to those high numbers.”

DePaul went into halftime with a 33-22 lead. They outrebounded the Hoyas 24-21 and grabbed 13 offensive rebounds for 12 second-chance points.  Podkowa led all scorers with 11 points in the half.

“We were finding the open spots in their zone and our guards were hitting us in the right spot,” Podkowa said. “They were being aggressive so we could even draw the foul.”

In the second half it was business as usual for the Blue Demons.  They opened the half on a 13-2 run, thanks to a pair of 3-pointers from forward Megan Rogowski.
Rogowski overcame a slow start where she started 1-7. She went 5-5 in the second half for 14 points.
“Everyone on the bench just kept saying to keep shooting,” Rogowski said. “Shooters shoot and I was just going to shoot the open shot. In the second half, they just started to fall more.”

DePaul’s largest lead was 28 with 3:45 to go.  Butler guard Logan Battle led the Hoyas with 20 points.  Butler forward Natalie Butler, the Big East freshman of the year, was held to eight points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

The Blue Demons shot 36 percent (24-66) and outrebounded the Hoyas 49-35. Georgetown finished shooting 39 percent (22-56) and committed 28 turnovers.

“I feel like the turnovers were the number one reason we lost this game,” Butler said. “It’s tough because we knew about it going in and we couldn’t turn the ball over. We had a lead and it started to go downhill once we started to turn it over. It’s unfortunate and we’ve got to work on it for next year.”

Afterwards, Bruno said the game showed how DePaul wasn’t playing on their home court. The two teams played at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill. compared to DePaul’s regular season court, McGrath-Phillips Arena in Chicago.

“We had to grind this baby,” Bruno said. “We didn’t win it quickly and simply.”

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DePaul women’s basketball advances to Big East semifinals with 78-54 win against Georgetown