Women’s basketball: DePaul continues undefeated conference streak with road victory over Providence


Donald Crocker

DePaul women’s basketball guard Deja Church racing past a Notre Dame player on Dec. 22.

The DePaul women’s basketball team defeated Providence College 98-77 on the road on Friday, with guard Deja Church leading the team with 20 points. The Blue Demons are now 12-3 overall and 4-0 in Big East play.

The Blue Demons had not played a game since their 91-86 loss against the University of Notre Dame on Dec. 22 after their game against the University of Connecticut on Dec. 31 was canceled because of Covid in UConn’s program.

Providence opened the game with a three-point jumper, but a layup by guard Darrione Rogers put DePaul on the board seconds later. Points continued to swap back and forth, with neither team gaining a definite lead.

While the Blue Demons were making shots, the Friars were consistent in their shooting and were able to outshoot DePaul during the quarter.  This left the Blue Demons trailing 26-22 at the end of the first quarter.

Guard Lexi Held kicked off the second quarter with a three-point jumper and senior guard Sonya Morris gave the Blue Demons the lead again with a layup to make the score 27-26.

The Blue Demons took their biggest lead of the game with a layup by guard Dee Bekelja to make the score 31-28, but Providence got a basket right back.

However, two free throws by Bekelja and a jumper by Morris added to the Blue Demons’ lead and put DePaul up by seven points halfway through the quarter.

Baskets went back and forth between DePaul and Providence before the Blue Demons pulled ahead with the lead late in the second quarter. A layup by Morris gave the Blue Demons a 10-point lead before a three-point jumper by Held made the score 55-42 to end the first half.

Morris led both teams with 17 points at halftime, while Providence freshman guard Kylee Sheppard followed with 14 points.

Providence scored the first basket of the second half, but Morrow scored a layup second later. However, baskets kept going back and forth after and Providence decreased the lead to seven points.

Providence challenged the Blue Demons’ offense as the third quarter went on, but a three-point jumper by Church made the score 64-54.

The teams continued to score on both ends of the court, but DePaul kept their lead throughout the third quarter with the help of Church and Morrow.

Held finished off the quarter with a buzzer-beater jumper, moving the score to 79-65 at the end of the third quarter.

Freshman forward Aneesah Morrow began the fourth quarter with three-straight baskets before Providence made a basket a minute-and-a-half later, but the Friars began to challenge once they got on the board in the quarter.

However, layups by Church and Held extended the Blue Demons lead to 18 points halfway through the fourth quarter to make the score 87-69.

Held, along with junior forward Hannah Purcell and junior guard Kierra Collier, all added to the Blue Demons’ lead with three-point jumpers late in the game and the Blue Demons were able to close out the game with a layup by Morrow.

Morris ended the game with 19 points, while Morrow and Held had 17 points each. Morrow led with 10 rebounds.

The Blue Demons remain on the road to Milwaukee to take on Marquette University’s Golden Eagles on Jan. 12 before returning home to play Villanova University two days later.