The No. 20/21 DePaul Blue Demons didn't plan on playing Monday, but those plans changed over the weekend when the BIG EAST rescheduled a game against Villanova for Monday. Despite the short notice, the Blue Demons rose to the challenge and defeated the Wildcats 94-82.
The first quarter was tight, with DePaul edging Villanova 20-19, but DePaul broke it open in the second to take a 54-43 halftime lead. DePaul outscored Villanova 40-39 in the second half to secure the victory. DePaul held the lead for 35:22 to Villanova's 2:50. There were only three lead changes and three ties, as DePaul was in control throughout the game.
DePaul's Sonya Morris paced her team with 22 points, edging out Darrione Rogers who had 21 points. Lexi Held (18), Deja Church (13) and Dee Bekelja (12) also scored in double digits. Jorie Allen added eight points to finish the DePaul scoring. The trio of Rogers, Held and Morris shot 12-of-22 from behind the arc (54.5 percent).
Madison Siegrist, the BIG EAST’s leading scorer and rebounder, scored 31 and had nine rebounds to lead Villanova. She also had five assists, a steal and four blocked shots.
Villanova led DePaul in point in the paint (44-36), fast break points (25-17) and bench points 24-21). Second chance points belonged to DePaul (10-7).
The Blue Demons are fourth in the nation in forcing turnovers. They forced Villanova into 19 on Monday. DePaul’s full-court pressure has forced 23 or more turnovers in every game except three this season.
DePaul improved to 6-3 and 3-1 in the BIG EAST. The Blue Demons hit the road for a game at Butler on Thursday and then return to Wintrust Arena for a Sunday matchup against Creighton,
The rescheduling was a main topic in the post game press session as DePaul Coach Doug Bruno, Sonya Morris and Darrione Rogers fielded questions. As DePaul Assistant Director of Athletics Communications Bob Sakamoto said, "This is life in the pandemic." Everyone is basically ready for anything. It's not ideal, but at least basketball is being played again.