DePaul overcomes a 16-point deficit, topples St. John’s on the road


Ryan Gilroy | The DePaulia

Chante Stonewall drives to the basket in an earlier regular season game against Villanova.

DePaul vs St. John’s was bound to be a firecracker of a match this season. In the first matchup at McGrath-Phillips Arena on Jan. 12, St. John’s guard-heavy attack lead by Qadashah Hoppie fell short of DePaul behind a balanced scoring attack by a thin margin of 74-69. St. John’s looked primed to get easy revenge as they lead by 16 halfway through the third quarter Friday night in Queens, New York. DePaul would storm back though, and get a gutsy 71-65 win over the Red Storm.

The first quarter started off well for the Blue Demons who came out to a 9-5 lead after a Lexi Held three gave them an early advantage. That’s when Hoppie and the rest of St. John’s started swinging. St. John’s hit six first-half threes and jumped out to a 12-0 run that put them up 17-9.

The Blue Demons struggled from the field in the first half, shooting just under 30 percent from the floor. St. John’s lead 35-28 after the first half, holding DePaul at bay. Lexi Held and Sonya Morris each had eight first-half points.

In the second half, St. John’s took no time extending the game to a quick 40-29 lead. DePaul’s leading scorer Chante Stonewall started the game just 3-for-13 from the field. St. John’s responded to every DePaul surge with a bucket of their own. The Red Storm held a 44-33 lead with 5:02 left.

The pace was dictated by St. John’s as every shot seemed to fall. Three-pointers gave St. John’s the space to penetrate the lane and get to the free-throw line and score inside. Senior guard Kelly Campbell picked up her third foul midway through the third quarter for the Blue Demons.

St. John’s would take a 49-33 lead with 4:02 left and things looked grim for DePaul. That was until a 7-0 run cut the game to just 49-40 going into the fourth quarter. Lexi Held scored five quick points and Stonewall capped it off with a layup to close the gap.

Sonya Morris would hit a three to cut the St. John’s lead to just 56-50 with 7:15 left in the game. Her layup just a minute later would cut it to 56-52. Morris hadn’t scored since the end of the first half leading up to the five-point spurt.

Stonewall would cut it to within 2 points before Hoppie struck again for her career-high 27th point, extending it to 59-54. DePaul would then storm back with a Lexi Held 3-pointer tying the game at 61 with 2:22 left. Hoppie wouldn’t score for the rest of the game.

Kelly Campbell got a quick steal and hit a deep three to take a 64-63 lead, their first lead since the first quarter. A quick stop let DePaul get into the free throw game, where Morris would hit three free throws to take a 67-63 lead with 29.5 seconds left. After the dust settled, DePaul stayed the course, en route to a 71-65 win.

The Blue Demons improved to 21-3 on the season and 11-1 in conference play. They’ll face Seton Hall on Sunday at noon.