Happy Birthday, Sweet 16!!!
For the DePaul Lady Blue Demons, coming off a 104-100 win over Oklahoma in the first round, which was the highest-scoring regulation game in tournament history, the next contest seemed to be one that only the Devil himself could arrange.
On the home court of the #2-seeded Duke Blue Devils, whose brother Blue Devils had gone down in the Round of 64, the #7-ranked DePaul pushed through an open a gate of hell (Cameron Indoor Stadium), and upset Duke 74-65 on Monday night in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
They earned their third appearance in the round of 16 by hitting a season-high 14 3-pointers and with defense, using relentless pressure to force Duke into 21 turnovers with their high-pressure defense.
With no healthy point guards, Duke (28-7) led for only 12 seconds and became the first top-four seed to lose in the tournament.
Four Lady Blues scored in double digits, as Megan Rogowski scored 22 points, Megan Podkowa added 18, Brittany Hrynko had 14, and Jasmine Penny, 11 points for DePaul, which has won 18 of 19.
It was a record-setting win for the Lady Blue Demons:
- DePaul knocked down a season-high 14 3-pointers, a Blue Demon NCAA record.
- Megan Rogowski had six 3-pointers, tying her for the second most by a DePaul player in an NCAA tournament game
- Megan Podkowa was a perfect 4-of-4 from behind the arc has reached double-figures five of the last six games
- Brittany Hrynko added four triples and combined with Chanise Jenkins for 13 of DePaul’s 19 assists
- Jessica January had three steals and seven rebounds
We‟re here because the players I‟m blessed to coach did a great job. They did a great job. They‟ve done a great job all year but they did a specifically great job tonight. “
Coach Doug Bruno, DePaul Lady Blue Demons, on making the NCAA’s Sweet 16
Duke had closed to 49-46 on Chidom’s layup with 7 minutes left, and had one last chance to make things interesting after Liston hit a layup after a steal to make it 67-60 with 1:45 left and Hrynko missed the front end of a one-and-one.
But Penny blocked Liston’s layup, and after the teams traded turnovers, DePaul bled the clock before Duke fouled Jessica January with 1:09 left.
Liston’s 3 went in and out, and Rogowski hit two free throws with 42.1 seconds left to push the lead back to 10.
Penny countered with a jumper in the lane and Hrynko followed with a 3 in front of the DePaul bench — and afterward held her shooting hand high for a moment.
Rogowski, who finished with six 3s, hit one to push the lead to 57-48 — the seventh time the Blue Demons countered a Duke bucket with a 3 — and she then gave DePaul a double-figure lead on its next possession with two free throws with 5:02 left.
For the Blue Devils, Elizabeth Williams scored 12 points, and seniors Haley Peters and Tricia Liston each added 11 in their final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Ka’lia Johnson scored 11 points and Oderah Chidom added 10 for Duke, which lost an NCAA tournament game at Cameron for the first time since 1996 and was denied its 17th regional semifinal berth in 18 years.
“This team won a bunch of games; I think seventeen in a row, they’re good. They are a very good team. We just weren’t able to match it. It was too bad; a few balls here or there might have been the difference.”
Coach Joanne McCallie, Duke Blue Devils
The Blue Devils — who made four straight appearances in the regional finals — became the first No. 2 seed to lose this early since Xavier lost to Louisville in 2011.
DePaul will play the winner of the James Madison/Texas A&M winner in the Sweet 16 on Saturday in the Lincoln Regional semifinals.
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