(10) DePaul 69

(17-2, 4-2 Big East)

Seton Hall 56

(6-11, 3-3 Big East)

    2:00 PM ET, January 21, 2006

    1 2 T
    #10DEP 35 3469
    HALL 27 2956

    Smith's second-half surge leads No. 10 DePaul over Seton Hall

    SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (AP) -- With leading scorer Khara Smith feeling sick, it was up to her DePaul teammates to pick up the slack against Seton Hall.

    "Khara does so much for us all the time, but we have a very balanced team," said guard Jenna Rubino, who scored 15 of her 17 points in the first half to lead No. 10 DePaul to a 69-56 victory Saturday.

    "We did go into the game knowing she wasn't feeling well, so we all had to pick it up. I had it in my mind that I had to set the tone early."

    Rubino's first-half production enabled the Blue Demons (17-2, 4-2 Big East) to take control of the game midway through the first half and never look back.

    "I think we learned from our other road losses (to South Florida and Notre Dame) that we have to make a statement early and be aggressive from the start," Rubino said. "That's what we did here and it just carried throughout the game."

    Eventually Smith, the Big East's fourth leading scorer (18.5 ppg) and leading rebounder (11 rpg) got going after battling the flu all week. She came back strong in the second half, scoring 14 of her 18 after halftime. Smith also added nine rebounds.

    "She's been sick for a week, but to her credit, she's been able to play through it," DePaul head coach Doug Bruno said. "We always want to be a balanced scoring team. Jenna and Allie (Quigley) have done a great job all season in stepping up when we need them."

    Quigley added 18 points for the Blue Demons, who have won 10 of 11. They had their nine-game winning streak snapped against Notre Dame last time out.

    Monique Blake scored 13 points and Heta Korpivaara each added 10 for Seton Hall (6-11, 3-3), which lost for the third time in four Big East contests.

    After the two teams traded the lead six times over the first 10 minutes, DePaul took command with a 9-0 run over a span of 3:14 to take a 20-12 lead. Quigley hit two free throws, then added a corner jumper in the run.

    Blake then countered with a driving layup for Seton Hall, but DePaul scored seven straight points, when Holly Medley made a long 3-pointer and Erin Cattell and Smith each scored a basket down low, pushing the lead to 27-14.

    "I really thought our second unit turned the game in our favor in the later part of the first half," Bruno said. "We were able to press a little, turn the tempo up and that's how we took the lead."

    DePaul, which led 35-27 at the half, controlled the action for the remainder of the game. The Blue Demons started the second half on a 12-2 run, pushing the lead to 47-29 with 15:58 remaining. Quigley scored five during that stretch.

    Seton Hall did manage to cut the lead to 55-49 with 5:50 remaining on a 3-pointer by Korpivaara.

    DePaul countered, scoring six straight points, four from Smith down low and pushing the lead to 61-49 with 4:14 left.

    "It's really hard to play a team like that with so many weapons," Blake said. "We can't concentrate on one player. They have good shooters and a great post player."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2005-06 Season

    » Jan 21, 2006 DEP 69, @HALL 56Recap | Box Score