Sunday, January 31, 2016

The science behind Jessica January's fifth double-double of the season

                               Photo Credit: Geno Green

Fresh off an 83-74 loss against the Seton Hall Pirates on Jan. 29, Jessica January and the No. 23 DePaul Blue Demons needed a lift to cap their weekend home slate.

Sunday afternoon proved to be a much-needed spark as DePaul (17-7, 9-2 BIG EAST) defeated St. John's (16-6, 7-4 BIG EAST) 77-71 at McGrath-Phillips Arena.

January proved to be the one player who stood out in the stat sheet with her fifth double-double of the season (21 points, 10 rebounds) and finished one assist short of a triple-double.

The Blue Demons' proficient start in the first quarter was spearheaded by January having an impact on the first five scoring plays (nine points and an assist).

"Our team came out with a lot of energy and we had a tough one on Friday against Seton Hall," January said. "St. John's is a really good team, but we were trying to get our offensive execution back and my teammates were getting me the ball."

The junior guard finished with the same amount points at the end of the first quarter to put DePaul ahead of St. John's, 25-16 and things looked smooth.

"With the offense we were running, we had openings in the lane and people were cutting and players took advantage," January said.

After the Red Storm scored the first four points of the second quarter, the Blue Demons countered with a 9-0 run, highlighted by an inbounds pass from Chanise Jenkins to a cutting January for the layup.

January finished the first half as the only player in double figures with 15 points and added two more baskets as DePaul went into the locker room with a 42-30 advantage on St. John's.

A balanced second half on both ends witnessed January score six points, four rebounds and assists each.

January's double-double came with 1:39 left in regulation with an assist which led to a layup from Brooke Schulte.

DePaul coach Doug Bruno was proud of the effort January put together from the opening tip to the final whistle.

"Jess did a great job at both ends of the floor and she is represented her team well in the win," Bruno said.

Looking Ahead:

DePaul will look to build on the win as they travel to Villanova and Georgetown on Feb. 5 and 7, respectively.

Both games can be seen online on the BIG EAST Digital Network and the Fox Sports Go App.

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Follow Geno Green on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.