Balanced effort leads DePaul over Seton Hall

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Balanced effort leads DePaul over Seton Hall

Sonya Morris rises for a jumper in the first half against Seton Hall.

Sonya Morris rises for a jumper in the first half against Seton Hall.

Ryan Gilroy | The DePaulia

Sonya Morris rises for a jumper in the first half against Seton Hall.

Ryan Gilroy | The DePaulia

Ryan Gilroy | The DePaulia

Sonya Morris rises for a jumper in the first half against Seton Hall.

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DePaul hosted Seton Hall on Friday night in the fourth Big East game in the early conference season. The Blue Demons were fresh off of a 74-71 win over Creighton on Sunday as they returned to school and to McGrath-Phillips Arena. A slow start was pulled back in control by halftime, and a decisive second half saw DePaul win 85-68 to improve to 14-2 on the season.

The first quarter opened with lights out shooting from Seton Hall as the Pirates hit four early midrange jumpers including eight quick points from Barbara Johnson. Seton Hall was able to take a commanding 18-10 lead with 4:15 left in the first quarter. The quick onslaught forced DePaul to step into a zone. Chante Stonewall scored five points out of the break and Kiara Dallmann hit two free throws to cut it to 20-19 a few minutes later. Stonewall would tie things up at 22 going into the second quarter after she banked in a three.

“We are a fullcourt pressure basketball team but we also have other ways to win basketball games,” Bruno said of the adjustment into zone. “I thought our players adjusted quickly and well into our zone package.”

Lexi Held would score five quick points to take a 27-24 lead after the first minute of the second quarter. Sonya Morris would increase that to 29-24 after a layup of her own. Deja Church would knock down a 3-pointer immediately following a Seton Hall timeout to extend it to 32-24.

Seton Hall would go on a 9-3 run to cut it to 41-36 later in the quarter before Morris hit a 3-pointer right back. DePaul found some comfort before the break but Seton Hall stuck around as DePaul lead 46-41 after 20 minutes.

Stonewall’s 12 points paced the Blue Demons, but it was Held and Morris who helped pull DePaul ahead in the second quarter. The three combined for 31 points to go with Deja Church’s eight. Jolene Daninger and Dee Bekelja helped turn the defense around.

The third quarter was as back-and-forth as the rest of the game until DePaul was able to get three steals to help take a 60-51 lead after five minutes.

“What got us going offensively was honestly our defense,” Campbell said. “We really zoned in on defending and rebounding and we were able to excel on offense because we were really getting stops.”

Morris and Church would help add to the Blue Demons attack as both of them entered double-figures joining Stonewall and Held. Stonewall’s two free throws at the end of the quarter extended the lead back to nine at 68-59. Johnson was held scoreless in the third quarter after having 14 in the first half.

Both teams forced turnovers early in the fourth quarter before Held broke the drought with a jumper followed by a Campbell 3-pointer to take the largest lead of the game at 73-59. Held would hit again on a layup to extend the lead to 76-59.

DePaul’s balanced scoring effort showed once again as all five starters scored in double figures. Kelly Campbell had a classic statline with 13 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.

Seton Hall would go on a 7-0 run to cut it to 76-66 after being held scoreless for the first four minutes of the quarter. Held would hit a turnaround jumper to get DePaul back on the scoreboard before Kelly Campbell would hit two free throws to extend it to 80-66 with three minutes left.

Held had six steals to go with her 21 points. Six is a career-high for the sophomore averaging 18.8 points per game in conference play.

The Blue Demons would roll to an 85-68 win and a 4-0 start in conference play. DePaul hosts St. John’s on Sunday at noon at McGrath-Phillips Arena.