Creighton University turned the tables on No. 19 DePaul by taking an early lead and cruising to an 83-72 victory. This was the third straight season Creighton beat DePaul at Wintrust Arena.
Creighton held the lead for 31:27 to DePaul's 7:06. There were only three lead changes and one tie, as Creighton stayed in control of the game. Creighton led 25-17 at the end of the first quarter. DePaul actually matched Creighton in the second and third quarters, but Creighton kept the seven point lead heading into the fourth quarter. When DePaul inched back, Creighton quickly answered and spread the lead to end the game with a big 11 point upset.
DePaul led in points from turnovers (16-12), but Creighton swept the other categories. Creighton took points in the paint (38-28), second chance points (8-4), fast break points (12-6) and bench points (21-6).
The real story of the game was the shooting percentages. DePaul shot 38.2% from the field, 21.4% from three point land and 80% from the free throw line. Creighton shot an amazing 58.0%, 53.3% and 94.4% in those same categories.
Lexi Held and Sonya Morris lead DePaul with 17 points each, followed by Jorie Allen with 16. Dee Bekelja added 10, while Deja Church and Darrione Rogers each chipped in six points. Allen also had seven rebounds to lead the Blue Demons. Held continued her thievery, nabbing another seven steals.
Creighton scored 27 to lead the Blue Jays. Carly Bachelor's seven rebounds paced the team.
In the post-game presser, Coach Doug Bruno, Allen and Held couldn't hide their disappointment with the game. All stated the loss wouldn't leave their minds quickly, but they would start focusing on their next game right away. Allen also talked about following her dad and uncle by playing at DePaul.
I asked Coach Bruno about the addition of WNBA star Jewell Lyod to his staff. The Chicago area native won a championship with the Seattle Storm last season and joined Bruno's staff on a limited basis. Technically, Loyd is listed as a Team Manager because of coaching limits, but she is essentially another assistant for Coach Bruno who is very familiar because of her Chicago roots. Having a local star with the resume of Loyd will definitely help the Blue Demons players now and potentially in their professional futures.
DePaul now stands at 13-4, 10-3 in Big East play. The Blue Demons return to action Wednesday, February 24 against Marquette at Wintrust Arena. DePaul's Big East rivals to the north are in second place at 15-4, 12-3. While neither team has a legitimate chance of catching first place Connecticut, this game could determine second place.