9:00 PM ET, February 15, 2011
CHICAGO -- Even as DePaul (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 10 AP) opened a 19-point lead on Rutgers, Blue Demons coach Doug Bruno still feared a rocky ride was ahead.The unranked Scarlet Knights climbed out of a deep hole in the second half and rallied to within two points late in the game before the Blue Demons locked down a 66-62 Big East victory Tuesday night."We've made a habit this year of having big leads and not staying with the same focus that got us the leads," Bruno said. "Tonight I don't think it was as much us losing focus as it was that Rutgers is really good and is just too talented not to fight when their backs are against the wall."Keisha Hampton scored 22 points, including five 3-pointers, while Sam Quigley added 14 for the Blue Demons (24-3, 11-1 Big East), who hit 10 3-pointers in the game.They made six of their first seven from behind the arc to open an 18-5 lead and never trailed the Scarlet Knights (14-11, 7-5).Rutgers was down 16 at the half, but cut its deficit to two late in the game before DePaul held on.April Sykes scored 15 points while Chelsey Lee and Khadijah Rushdan each had 13 for the Scarlet Knights.Anna Martin, Hampton and Quigley each had a pair of 3 pointers in DePaul's early run as the teams combined for eight 3's in the game's opening 6:19.Hampton's second 3-pointer at 16:06 pushed the Blue Demon advantage to 15-3 and the lead never dipped under double digits in the first half.Rutgers hit nine field goals in the first half while DePaul was 16-of-29, including nine 3s.In the second half, the Scarlet Knights scored 11 straight points over a 4:10 span to cut the deficit to 50-45, The run included back-to-back baskets by Lee and a 3-pointer by Sykes."We came out lackadaisical, stunned," Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer said. "We needed to identify the people who needed to be challenged above the three-point line and obviously we didn't and the next thing you know, you're down by 19."The Scarlet Knights' started to shut down DePaul's 3-point shooting late in the first half and during the second 20 minutes, the Blue Demons hit just one."We just needed to shake things up, change the defense and pick up shooters much tighter," Stringer said.Rutgers twice got to within two points, the last time with 5:40 to play on Rushdan's two free throws. But DePaul pushed the lead back to 61-53 on Taylor Pikes' layup with 1:17 left.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||24-55 (.436)||24-51 (.471)|
|3P Made-Attempted||4-10 (.400)||10-23 (.435)|
|FT Made-Attempted||10-15 (.667)||8-14 (.571)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||15 (0/0)||10 (0/0)|