Saturday, January 23, 2016

January's all-around game leads No. 24 DePaul past Creighton

Photo Credit: Geno Green

The first month of each year represents January, but on a Friday night at McGrath-Phillips Arena in Chicago, IL., Jessica January took the spotlight and ran with the material.

January's 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting highlighted the No. 24 DePaul Blue Demons' (15-6, 7-1 BIG EAST) 81-63 win over the Creighton Blue Jays (10-10, 4-4 BIG EAST).

Scoring was not the only department where January made an impact as assists and rebounds accounted for seven apiece.

One played which showcased January's all-around play was in the midway portion of the second quarter with a dazzling pass, 70-feet out to a dashing Megan Podkowa for the swift layup to go ahead 33-18.

January admitted that tempo still needs work, but the effort against Creighton is a good first step.

"We haven't been the best with our running game and I am glad Megan went out on the run to catch the pass because I was so happy," January said.

Podkowa finished with 16 points, on 7-of-10 shooting to go along with two blocks, but credits the effort to her teammates for being unselfish.

"I feel like I say this a lot, but my teammates were getting me the ball and it made things easier," Podkowa said.

Chanise Jenkins and Mart'e Grays added 11 and 10 points, respectively for the Blue Demons.

Creighton's lone bright spot was Audrey Faber with game-highs in points (17) and rebounds (8).

Game Recap:

Both teams exchanged leads for the better part of the first minutes until DePaul's 13-0 run spanning from the first to the second quarters put them ahead 25-14.

Podkowa's layup to highlight the run ended the first quarter with DePaul ahead 16-14.

Blue Demons coach Doug Bruno stressed continuous improvement with taking shots late in the shot clock.

"I thought it was a great shot and it's something we have been trying to manage with executing at the end of shot clocks," Bruno said. "That's the fun of having four quarters because you get to deal with this scenario potentially four times."

Creighton's Faber ended the run with a layup, but DePaul would counter and balloon its lead to 47-25 at halftime.

The Blue Demons led by as many as 29 points in the second half as they picked up their third straight win.

Looking Ahead:

DePaul returns to McGrath-Phillips arena on Jan. 24, as Providence  comes calling, while Creighton travels to Milwaukee to take on Marquette. 

Both games tip off at 2 p.m.

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Follow Geno Green on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.