Saturday, February 20, 2021

DePaul WBB Holds off Xavier for 4th Straight Win

In a game similar to Monday night's win, DePaul beat Xavier 83-75. Once again, the Blue Demons led most for the way, and held off a few late Xavier surges to secure another win.

DePaul and Xavier battled in the first quarter with the Blue Demons having a slight edge at 19-17. A big second quarter saw DePaul gain a 36-27 halftime lead, a lead DePaul held through the end. Xavier got the edge 48-47 in the second half, but it wasn't enough to catch DePaul. Overall, DePaul led for 33:47 to Xavier's 4:08, although the game often seemed closer than that.

DePaul held the advantage in points from turnovers (25-9), second chance points (17-15) and fast break points (17-8). Xavier topped DePaul in points in the paint (40-34) and bench points (19-5). DePaul losing the bench points battle isn;t new to the team, as Coach Doug Bruno is relying mostly on his starters.

DePaul shot 38.3% from the field, 26.7% from three point land and 72.2% from the free throw line. Xavier shot 45.8%, 37.5% and 83.3% respectively.

Lexi Held topped the scoring sheet with 25 points. She also added six assists, five steals, two blocks and four rebounds in a well-rounded effort. Sonya Morris added 22 points and seven assists. Other Blue Demons in the scoing column were Dee Bekelja (20), Darrione Rogers (6), Jorie Allen (5), Hannah Purcell (3) and Kiara Dallmann (2).

Kaelynn Satterfield paced Xavier with 16 points. Three Musketeers, A'riana Gray, Aaliyah Dunham and Satterfield tied for the team rebound lead with seven.

As Coach Bruno discussed in the post-game presser, the great unknown was how Xavier would play after being off since January 23 due to COVID-19-related issues within its program. The ever-practical Bruno added that it's actually like that layoff or not. Any game can go any way. Still, the quick DePaul tempo could not have been a great welcome back to Xavier, but they held tough and forced DePaul to play hard the full 40 minutes.

One big highlight yesterday was Morris joining the 1,000 point club. Chjurch and Held reached that milestone earlier this season. In the post-game session, Morris and Held talked about their achievements, with both revealing they weren't aware of it as it was happening. Now they are quite aware of it as DePaul staffers and media members all congratulated them.

The Blue Demons now stand at 13-4. Those losses were against No. 1/1 Connecticut twice, No. 3/2 Louisville and No. 5/5 Texas A&M. DePaul returns to action on Saturday at Wintrust against Creighton in a game that will be televised nationally on FS1.

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