When will the losing stop? DePaul women allow 168 points in back to back Big East losses


Erin Henze

Sophomore center Aneesah Morrow attempts a three-point shot during Saturday’s 81-72 loss against St. John’s.

An all too familiar performance took place in both D.C. and Wintrust Arena in DePaul’s past games. Two second half defensive collapses allowed DePaul’s halftime leads to slip away and cause its once 3-0 conference record to fall under .500 for the first time this season. 

The Blue Demons traveled to McDonough Gymnasium in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, looking to secure two Big East wins in a row, but a fourth quarter meltdown gave DePaul a 87-63 loss. 

Having beaten the Hoyas back on Dec. 18, the Blue Demons came in looking to flip the script on its Big East portion of the schedule up to this point. 

Unfortunately, Bruno’s squad were forced to deal with a hot Hoyas team. Georgetown shot 56% from three Wednesday night and were also able to create more of a presence in the paint, as they outscored DePaul 36-26 down low. 

DePaul had four of five starters finish in double figures with junior Darrione Rogers leading the Blue Demons with 22 points.

None of the starters’ production mattered much though, as DePaul surrendered 87 points defensively. 

DePaul’s own three-point shooting difficulties hurt them again Wednesday. A combined effort of making only six of 21 shots from three, made it tough to score, as the nonexistent bench had another lousy performance with four bench points.

As the season gets closer to its end, DePaul is on the verge of its first season sub .500 campaign under Bruno for the first time since 1997-98. 

The Blue Demons’ remaining schedule only gets tougher. They play No. 5 UConn twice, travel to Nebraska to play Creighton and finish at Marquette on Feb. 27.

History repeated itself just three short days later. DePaul and its worst defense in the conference allowed another lead to vanish leaving Wintrust Arena with another loss 81-72. 

“We had a long third quarter,” Bruno said. “We fought back but it was tough to recover from it.” 

DePaul played St. John’s hard and battled for 20 minutes in the first half, but plaguing injuries limited player availability. Bruno was without senior forwards Jorie Allen and Keke Rimmer Saturday. 

Allen has turned the corner for the Blue Demons of late, as the former Indiana transfer is third in the Big East in field goal percentage at 58%. She has filled a void at the “center” position to go alongside sophomore Anessah Morrow in the front court. 

DePaul athletics only provided Bruno to the media after the loss. Players were not available to speak to reporters.

At halftime, DePaul held a 39-36 advantage. Morrow’s 16 points and seven rebounds led the way, however, any momentum quickly faded. The Blue Demons went scoreless for three minutes after the break, before junior Darrione Rogers made a three to stop the drought. 

Senior Jayla Everett led the Red Storm and finished with a team-high 24 points, scoring a quick seven points to start the third. This catapulted St. John’s to close the quarter on a 14-6 run and take a 61-52 lead. 

St. John’s held an 18-point advantage going into the fourth with a 72-54 lead. The Blue Demons’ defense didn’t allow the Red Storm a single field goal in the final six and half minutes, and drew within seven after a pair of Morrow free-throws. 

“We started to press and that changed everything,” Bruno said. “If we thought we could press for 40 minutes, we would be pressing when the game [started]. That is the way I would like to play 100% of the time.” 

The deficit wasn’t able to get any closer, with DePaul having to play the foul game and hope for misses at the line. St. John’s made 7 of 10 free throws to close the game, and as the clock hit triple zeroes, the Red Storm secured the win. 

In the losing effort, DePaul managed to score 72 points, which is the second most allowed by St. John’s so far this season. The Red Storm lead the Big East in defense points per game at 56 a game. 

It was the St. John’s offense that prevailed in the victory. It was an easier and more efficient offense for the Red Storm, as they went up against DePaul bottom ranked defense in the Big East, who give up 70 points per game 

With a lack of players able to play, DePaul was short- handed on the bench and outscored 27 to 8 in that margin. 

With only seven players in the rotation Saturday and a quick turn around on Monday Jan 23. to play UConn, Bruno’s players might be victims of overplay and fatigue. 

“These players have given everything, so I do appreciate the effort and the energy that they have been putting into it,” Bruno said. “We don’t have a lot of room for error. The players on this team never quit and never give up. I really love the way they compete every night. We just have to figure out a way to win a basketball game.” 

DePaul (11-9, 4-5) will tipoff with UConn (17-2, 10-0)  on Monday, Jan. 23. This is the rescheduled date from the Jan. 8 matchup that was postponed. Tip-off is 6:00 p.m. CST.

Following Saturday’s loss and UConn approaching, the Blue Demons could be looking at a sub .500 record under Bruno for the first time since 1997-98, a spot DePaul isn’t all too familiar with.