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DePaul makes it five straight regular season titles

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DePaul+faces+off+against+the+winner+of+Xavier+and+Seton+Hall+in+the+quarterfinals+of+the+Big+East+Tournament.+%0A%28Photo+courtesy+of+DePaul+Athletics%29
DePaul faces off against the winner of Xavier and Seton Hall in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament. 
(Photo courtesy of DePaul Athletics)

DePaul faces off against the winner of Xavier and Seton Hall in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament. (Photo courtesy of DePaul Athletics)

DePaul faces off against the winner of Xavier and Seton Hall in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament. (Photo courtesy of DePaul Athletics)

For the fifth consecutive season, DePaul (23-7; 15-3 Big East), captured at least a share of the Big East regular season title with a 72-68 win over Seton Hall (15-14; 7-11 Big East) Sunday afternoon.

This is the first time in the 44-year history of the program that the Blue Demons have won five league titles in a row. Marquette also clinched a share of the regular season title with a 76-57 win over St. John’s later in the day. DePaul and Marquette split their regular season matchups with each team winning on their home court.

Seton Hall made a late run, but two free throws from Kelly Campbell and three from Ashton Millender in the final 12.5 seconds preserved the win.

After entering the second quarter trailing by five, the Blue Demons made their move early in the second sparked by three-pointers from Millender and Lauren Prochaska.

Seton Hall jumped back ahead before back-to-back threes from Dee Bekelja and Tanita Allen sparked a 14-0 run that also featured threes from Millender and Chante Stonewall. This run helped the Blue Demons outscore Seton Hall 24-8 in the quarter to take an 11-point halftime lead.

The Pirates weren’t going away quietly, however. They closed within two late in the third quarter after a 3-point play by Shadeen Samuels.

The Blue Demons were in control during much of the second half, but they had to fend off a late rally from the Pirates who closed back within three as DePaul was held without a field goal for the final five and a half minutes after opening an 11-point lead on a Tanita Allen 3-pointer.

Millender led the scoring effort with 16 points, while Stonewall had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

The weekend started with a tough 67-54 victory over St. John’s Friday night at Carnesecca Arena to keep pace with Marquette who cruised to an 81-54 win over Seton Hall.

Leading by four at halftime, the Blue Demons used an 8-0 run sparked by back-to-back Millender threes to give her team a 54-40 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Mart’e Grays led DePaul with a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Campbell also had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

While it wasn’t a vintage offensive performance from DePaul, who finished with 21 turnovers while shooting just 43 percent, the Blue Demons were still able to hold St. Johns to only 54 points on just 38 percent shooting. The Red Storm were ice cold from beyond the arc, making just one of 20 three-point attempts.

It was the eighth win in nine games for DePaul, who set up a dramatic final day tied at the top of the standings with the Golden Eagles as they looked to secure their fifth consecutive regular season title.   

The Blue Demons are back in action next Sunday at 6 p.m. in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals at Wintrust Arena.

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DePaul makes it five straight regular season titles