Women split final weekend homestand


Senior guard Amarah Coleman notched 18 points Friday against Georgetown. (Photo Courtesy of DePaul Athletics)

The DePaul Blue Demons (20-7, 12-3 Big East) fell to the Georgetown Hoyas (12-13, 7-8 Big East) 86-85 in the final seconds on Friday night in a game that turned out to be a heartbreaking loss, ending the Blue Demons’ six game winning streak.

Hoyas’ Dionna White and Cynthia Petke were no match for the Blue Demons. White, a five-foot-five-inch junior guard, poured in a game-high 33 points on 14-of-25 shooting and shot 3-of-6 from behind the arc. Petke, a six-foot-two-inch senior forward, had a double-double by way of scoring 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting and grabbing 11 total rebounds.

“Georgetown did a great job of taking it to us and beating us tonight. The obvious great players on the floor were White and Petke,” Blue Demons head coach Doug Bruno said.

The Hoyas rank No. 3 in conference play in offensive rebounding percentage and that showed as the Hoyas pulled down 14 offensive rebounds that equaled out to be 43.8 percent of their 32 total rebounds.

“Offensive rebounding for them was very key. The fact that we didn’t control our defensive glass the way we’ve been controlling our glass in the previous games was huge,” Bruno said.

Equally important, the Hoyas forced 19 turnovers which allowed the Hoyas to score 25 of their points. The Hoyas were also dominant down low, as they scored 44 points in the paint.

The Blue Demons lead 79-75 with 4:11 left in the game after Ashton Millender dropped in a deep 3-pointer from the left wing, and there was a sense of excitement from the homes fans inside McGrath-Phillips Arena that the Blue Demons were on their way to their seventh consecutive victory. However, that ended up not being the case.

In the game’s winding minutes, the Hoyas used an efficient 6-of-7 shooting run to put the Hoyas in a good position to hand the basketball to Tatiana Thompson, a six-foot freshman forward, who swished in a 3-pointer from the right corner to give the Hoyas an 80-79 lead with just over three minutes remaining.

The Blue Demons tried mightily to initiate a comeback, but it wasn’t enough to propel them past a Hoyas team that played tight man-to-man defense and made timely switches on defense. Blue Demons’ sophomore guard Kelly Campbell drove to the rim from the right side of the free throw line with 1:37 remaining and had her shot attempt swatted by White. Following the blocked shot, the Hoyas increased their scoring total to 84.

Despite these two heads up plays by the Hoyas, the Blue Demons managed to take an 85-84 lead on a run driven by Mart’e Grays’ post-up layup with 28 seconds left and two made free throws by Amarah Coleman with 23.8 seconds to go.

Then, the Hoyas had possession again and they made the Blue Demons pay for sluggish defense and for not boxing out on the defensive glass. White drove to the rim and proved to be human by missing a layup that wasn’t well contested, but her teammate Morgan Smith was in perfect position to grab the offensive rebound and bank in a put-back layup with 10 seconds left to put the Hoyas up 86-85.

“The last rebound was a help situation you know, and Campbell helped, and so that’s where one rebound’s gonna win the game,” Bruno said. “We got their best player (White) to miss a shot. We needed one rebound.”

Afterwards, Bruno immediately called for a timeout, which put his team in position to inbound on their side of the floor. Millender inbounded the ball to Campbell, who then drove down the right side of the free throw line and kicked it out to Coleman who took a long 2-pointer down the right baseline.

Coleman’s shot rimmed out right into Millender’s hands under the left side of the rim with 2 seconds on the game clock for an offensive rebound. Unfortunately for Millender, what looked like a clean put-back layup was shot too hard off the glass and rolled off the rim, which in turn ended the game.

“We got a great great look on the rebound (…) Ashton did a great job of coming up with the offensive glass in that situation and just probably rushed it a little bit,” Bruno said. “If she had just taken her time she would’ve knocked that down. I’m sure she would’ve knocked it down if she took her time.”

On Sunday afternoon — DePaul’s senior day and final home game — the Blue Demons play host to the Villanova Wildcats (20-6, 10-5 Big East) and used a late charge to avoid getting swept in their final weekend homestand.