DePaul is able to hold off St. John’s in fourth quarter, winning 81-73

DePaul+senior+guard+Deja+Church+brings+up+the+ball+against+St.+John%27s+on+Wednesday+at+Wintrust+Arena.

Photo courtesy of DePaul athletics

DePaul senior guard Deja Church brings up the ball against St. John’s on Wednesday at Wintrust Arena.

Coming off a win against Marquette, DePaul were looking to win their second consecutive game as they took on St. John’s at Carnesecca Arena.

DePaul once again struggled to put the opponent away. But similar to the game against the Golden Eagles, they managed to pull away in the end and win 81-73.

However, early on, it looked like the Blue Demons were on their way to a blowout victory. They started the game hitting their first six shots. At one point in the opening quarter, DePaul led by as many as 15 points.

But some of the scoring droughts present in their last game was once again on display.  Foul trouble also played a role in the inconsistent offense. Lexi Held had two fouls and Sonya Morris had three fouls in the opening half. As a result, they spent a decent amount of time on the bench rather than on the court.

Despite all of that, DePaul still went into halftime leading 41-33.

At the start of the third quarter, it seemed like whatever coach Doug Bruno said during the break worked. However, it would not last. DePaul managed to pull away to a 20-point lead but another offensive lull and a run by St. John’s cut the lead down to eight.

The Red Storm kept cutting into DePaul’s lead, at one point getting to within one.  With 2:47 left in the game, Morris sunk a crucial 3-pointer to give the Blue Demons some breathing room. DePaul ended the game with seven unanswered points and, in the end, came away with their second consecutive win.

It was far from a vintage DePaul performance and, in a rarity, they lost the turnover battle, 18-17. St. John’s had 21 points off those turnovers.

Defensively, the Blue Demons had trouble stopping St. John’s Leilani Correa who finished the game leading all scorers with 33 points. DePaul seemingly had no answers for her, especially down the stretch.

For DePaul, all five of their starters finished with double digits in points.

Morris led the team with 21 points, and Lexi Held finished with 14 points, four rebounds, eight assists and a career-high six steals. Despite fouling out, Jorie Allen ended the night with 11 points and six rebounds.

Dee Bekelja added 10 points of her own to go along with two rebounds and eight assists. Deja Church continued her strong play as she finished the game with 18 points, five rebounds and four assists.

The mark of a good team is battling it out and coming away with a victory even when they are not their best. DePaul did just that these past two games. 

With the win, DePaul took sole possession of second place and improved to 11-4 overall and 8-2 in Big East. 

After two games on the road, DePaul’s next game will be on Feb. 15, when they take on Seton Hall at Wintrust Arena.