Sunday, March 6, 2016

DePaul advances to the semifinals behind an early 16-2 run

                                     Photo Credit: Geno Green

On a night where Chanise Jenkins, Jessica January, Megan Podkowa and coach Doug Bruno were honored pre-game for their individual awards during conference play, No. 18 DePaul (25-7 overall, 16-2 conference) used a 16-2 run in the first 5:25 to steer its way to a 76-49 win over Butler (10-21, 4-14) in the BIG EAST quarterfinal round at McGrath-Phillips Arena.

Within the run, the Blue Demons converted their first 12 points of the game on four straight triples and helped set the tone for the evening.

"I think we wanted to get off to an efficient start and we did a good job and maintained our energy throughout the game," January said.

DePaul continued to put the pedal to the medal by scoring the first eight points of the second quarter until Sydney Buck's layup snapped the run with 5:32 left in the second quarter for Butler to make it 31-13.

Despite Tori Schickel scoring the last six for Butler in the first half, DePaul announced last call with Jenkins' precise pass to Podkowa with three seconds left and would go into the locker room with a 39-19 advantage.

Bruno felt his team became complacent and needed a wake-up call after Schickel's mini-outburst.

"It was pretty obvious what coach [Kurt] Godlevske was doing and that was isolating our bigs." Bruno said. "We have a strategy on how to defend in those scenarios and we were not doing it. At the same time, we were stagnant on offense and ended up calling a timeout. Getting Podkowa involved was a nice momentum play going into the half."

Riding the wave of Podkowa:

Podkowa finished with a game-high 14 points, on 2-of-3 from three-point range and 4-of-4 on free throws.

January talked about how Megan makes everyone around her better.

"[Megan] is beneficial and is a really great player because she can kick the ball out and create open shots for other players," January said.

Neutralizing Langlois:

Fresh off a 20-point effort against Xavier in Saturday's first round game, Blaire Langlois was held scoreless in the first half and finished with nine points on 3-of-12 from the field.

January knew what Langlois brought to table and realized others had to step up and limit her open looks.

"[Blaire] played very well yesterday and we knew that she was a really great player," January said. "Brooke Schulte did a really great job early in the game by eliminating her touches and limiting her."

Up Next:

DePaul awaits the winner of the Georgetown/St. John's game in the BIG EAST semifinal round.

Tip-off is slated for 5:30 p.m. tomorrow on FS1.

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