No. 10 Marquette holds off DePaul 93-87
CHICAGO (AP) — With its unbeaten Big East record on the line, Marquette pulled away from DePaul late to remain undefeated in the conference.
Allazia Blockton scored 25 points, including a crucial three-point play as No. 10 Marquette held off DePaul 93-87 on Sunday for its 10th straight win.
"I'm really proud of our girls' toughness in the fourth quarter," Marquette coach Carolyn Kieger said. "It's nice to know as a coach when you have a group that can look you in the eye, as they did, and say, 'We got it.'"
The Golden Eagles led by 13 in the third quarter, but DePaul chipped away at the deficit and tied the game with 3:42 left in the fourth on a layup by Kelly Campbell. Blockton, the reigning Big East Player of the Year, gave Marquette a three-point lead with her basket and the foul with 2:01 left, and the hosts couldn't answer.
Marquette (19-3, 10-0 Big East) used a 10-0 run late in the first quarter to take control, with Amani Wilborn capping the burst by powering in a put-back layup plus the foul. DePaul (15-7, 6-4) made only one basket in the final six minutes of the first half and trailed 39-27 at the break.
Ashton Millender carried DePaul back into the game midway through the third quarter with seven points in 1:21, and Lexi Held beat the third-quarter buzzer with a put-back to make it 68-64 Marquette entering the fourth.
The Blue Demons couldn't pull ahead, however. Erika Davenport knocked down two free throws with 1:14 left to give Marquette an 88-83 advantage, and DePaul never had the ball with a chance to tie.
"I just was really proud of our players in the second half, the way they fought back and pulled this thing into position to win," DePaul coach Doug Bruno said. "Offensively, I just think we shared (the ball), and I thought there was some positive execution there in the second half."
Marquette entered the game shooting 37.9 percent from 3 but never trailed after the first quarter despite shooting just 4 of 20 from deep. Chante Stonewall led DePaul with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
"We know, DePaul, they're gonna be ready for us, and hopefully we'll be ready for them," Kieger said. "It's a rivalry, and it's something that our girls really take serious. ... I love when we can get tested and learn stuff about our program, and I thought we learned a lot in that fourth quarter."
Marquette: The Golden Eagles swept the Big East's third-place team and continue to look like the class of the league.
STAT OF THE NIGHT: DePaul led the nation in 3-point field goals and attempts entering Sunday and knocked down 11 of 30 from beyond the arc. Five 3-pointers in the third quarter helped the Blue Demons score 37 points in the period, their second-most in any quarter this season.
ROLE PLAYER: DePaul guard Rebekah Dahlman stepped in during the fourth quarter with starting forwards Stonewall and Mart'E Grays on the verge of fouling out. Dahlman shot just 4 of 14 for 13 points off the bench, but she canned a deep 3 with 2:14 remaining to tie the game.
"We played with four guards on the floor much of the second half too, and that was necessitated by foul trouble" Bruno said. "At the same time, Marquette (plays) four guards, so it was a game for four guards, for sure."
Marquette: Hosts Georgetown on Friday in the first of two straight home games.
DePaul: Hosts Villanova on Friday in a rematch of an overtime thriller the Blue Demons won 66-59 on Jan. 13.