St. John’s defeats DePaul women’s basketball 96-86

In a game that was all Red Storm from the beginning, the Blue Demons could never recover from a first half deficit that gave St. John’s a 96-86 win.

Jasmine Penny led all scorers with 23 points but it was still not enough to overcome the Red Storm’s speed and physicality.

St. Johns started off well, scoring a quick bucket off of the tip and forcing DePaul to take a timeout on offense on the next possession. Senior Eugeneia McPherson put in another basket for the Red Storm, followed by a Briana Brown three on the next possession. They pushed their lead to 14-6 with 15:35 to go in the half forcing the Demons to take another timeout.

DePaul would grab a bucket and a free throw to bring the lead down to 14-9 but four straight free throws from Amber Thompson and Aliyyah Handford extended the Red Storm’s lead to 18-9 with 11:41 to go.

The two teams traded baskets the next few possessions, but the Red Storm got the upper hand late as they score two quick baskets to give themselves a 28-16 lead as DePaul called a timeout. St. John’s led with 8:34 to go in the half.

The timeout seemed to work for the Demons. After surrendering a basket to St. John’s, they went on a 6-0 run, holding the Red Storm scoreless for five and a half minutes. They trailed 30-22 when St. John’s called a timeout with 2:23 to go in the half.  The Red Storm, however, would end the half on a 5-0 run of their own, brining their halftime lead to 35-24.

Both teams came out firing in the second half, trading buckets on the first four possessions of the half before the Red Storm made a stop defensively and added to their lead on the other end. At the 18-minute mark, St. John’s led 43-28.  They kept building the lead until the media timeout at 15:40, where the Red Storm led 50-34.

The next four minutes brought a lot of offense to the court as the Demons cut the lead down to 14, bringing the score to 62-48 in favor of the Red Storm with 11:04 to play.  The Demons kept cutting into the lead, scoring five points over the next minute to cut it down to a 62-53 St. John’s lead. The Red Storm called a timeout with 9:43 to play.

The Red Storm came out strong out of the timeout, scoring six straight points and extending their lead back to 15. The two teams traded baskets up and down the floor as the clock continued to run down. By the time St. John’s took a timeout, it was 75-62 in favor of the Red Storm with 5:11 to play.  Jasmine Penny was leading all scorers with 23 points.

The Demons fought hard trying to make a comeback over the next few minutes but the closest they could get was a 10-point deficit. The Red Storm would quash all hopes of a comeback with two quick baskets in the final minute, finally running out the clock to end with a 96-86 victory.

The Red Storm improved to 10-5 on the season and 3-1 in Big East play. The Blue Demons fell to 11-5 and 2-2 in the Big East.

After the game, Head Coach Doug Bruno acknowledged that falling behind early was the main reason why DePaul lost.

“The first five or six minutes of the game tonight is probably where we got beat,” Bruno said.

Jasmine Penny lamented the team’s defensive performance on the night, citing a need to be better.

“We just didn’t make any stops all night,” Penny said. “We need to do a better job defensively as a team.”

Bruno agreed with Penny and also talked about how none of the team’s defensive schemes had worked tonight.

“The lesson learned tonight for our team tonight is schemes don’t make stops,” Bruno said.

Despite the loss, Bruno was optimistic about the team’s ability to recover from their 2-2 Big East start.

“They did make a genuine, hard-played game out of it,” Bruno said. “We know that we can recover from this.”