DePaul starts Big East play with a victory over Georgetown


Eric Henry/The DePaulia

DePaul junior guard Sonya Morris celebrates after a play against Georgetown on Saturday at Wintrust Arena.

Big East conference play began for No. 24/23 DePaul as they took on Georgetown on Saturday at Wintrust Arena. The Blue Demons came in winners of five in a row against the Hoyas including winning nine out of the last 10 meetings. 

DePaul came away with a 72-54 win to improve to 4-2 and 1-0 in the Big East on the season. But the scoreline does not tell the whole story as Georgetown did not make things easy for the Blue Demons.

Protecting the ball was something Head Coach Doug Bruno stressed after the win against Kentucky, but it remained a problem. DePaul finished the game with 24 turnovers.

“I thought we were terrible at protecting the ball,” Bruno said. “It’s one thing to turn it over when you’re forced to turn it over but Georgetown was playing a contained man. They were letting us make the perimeter pass. We had 11 turnovers at halftime. A lot of those turnovers were just ridiculous. Check with your eyes and make the simple pass.” 

Despite heading into the break with a 39-31 lead, it was a frustrating first half for DePaul. The offense struggled in the first quarter shooting only 33.3 percent from the field and 16.7 percent from the 3-point line. 

It was Georgetown who came out to a strong start in the second half. They went on a 5-0 run to start the third quarter and cut DePaul’s lead down to three. But DePaul held them to only four more points in the quarter and outscored the Hoyas 18-9. The third quarter was key as the Blue Demons were able to pull away to a 57-40 lead.

DePaul senior guard Deja Church looks to go around a Georgetown defender on Saturday at Wintrust Arena. (Eric Henry/The DePaulia)

With a double-digit lead heading into the fourth quarter, DePaul was able to control more of the game. Georgetown made some shots but only got to within 13 points of DePaul. 

The Blue Demons still struggled on offense and finished the game shooting 25-of-66 from the field and 7-of-24 from the 3-point line. 

“Like coach Bruno said, this Georgetown team is a completely different team than they were last year,” said senior guard Dee Bekelja. “They had high energy and they were doing really well in the defensive end and a couple of our starters were out with fouls so that hurts us a little bit. But we were able to pull it out in the end so we’re happy about it.”

Bejelka led DePaul with 19 points and tied her career-high in both rebounds and steals with 12 and four, respectively. This was the second double-double of her career.

Lexi Held was another key player in the first half for DePaul as she contributed 14 points. Foul trouble limited her role in the second half but still finished the game with 16 points. She shot 4-of-12 from the field but was a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line.

“Foul trouble is always frustrating but I was glad that my team could continue without me and be strong,” Held said.

DePaul’s next game will be on the road as they travel to Omaha to take on fellow Big East side Creighton on Tuesday.