Loyola of Chicago stuns No. 17 DePaul women 88-75
CHICAGO (AP) Sheryl Swoopes was a special basketball player with more individual awards than can be listed in addition to an NCAA title, three Olympic gold medals and four WNBA championships.
She might be a pretty special coach as well.
Taylor Johnson scored 24 points and Sam Lambrigtsen added a career-high 21 as Loyola of Chicago shocked No. 17 DePaul 88-75 on Monday, ending a 21-game losing streak in the city series.
Loyola (7-3) last beat DePaul in 1993 and the Blue Demons (8-5) were coming off an impressive 77-64 win over then No. 12 Northwestern, which was 10-0.
''It's special. DePaul's not just any old team. We knew that,'' said Swoopes, 17-46 in her first two seasons at Loyola. ''It's a special moment for us. Anytime you can make history, that's always special.
''Trying to mold a team, groom a team and teach a young team how to win, and the importance of executing, it's special. And to be able to come and do it on their home court probably makes it a little more special than that.''
Lambrigtsen matched her career high with 17 points in the first half as the Ramblers closed with an 11-0 run to take a 41-30 lead.
Johnson hit 8 of 9 shots and scored 20 points in the second half as Loyola kept the Blue Demons at bay by shooting 67 percent.
Dakota Vann added 13 points, Taylor Manuel 12 and Nieka Wheeler 10 for the Ramblers, combining to shoot 17 of 20 from the field. Manuel also had 10 rebounds and ended up two assists shy of a triple double. Johnson also had eight assists and four steals.
''I thought we finally found a way to put four quarters together today,'' Swoopes said. ''DePaul's a really good team. I thought our game plan was spot on. More than that, they just went out, they played hard, they executed the game plan. They played together and fortunately we were able to come out and win the game today.''
Chanise Jenkins scored 20 points, Jessica January 16 and Megan Podkowa 15 for the Blue Demons, who led by 10 in the first quarter but missed their last 11 shots of the second and were outscored 22-8.
''Loyola did a good job of taking it to us,'' DePaul coach Doug Bruno said. ''They are one of the best teams with a 3-7 record because they play a tough schedule like we do.''
Lambrigtsen had a 3-point play, a 3-pointer and a layup that pulled Loyola within 22-19 after one quarter and then opened the second period with another 3 to tie the game.
Lambrigtsen was 6 of 10 from the field with four 3s in the first half and Loyola shot 55 percent while DePaul was at 30 percent, including 3 of 17 (18 percent) from 3-point range.
The Blue Demons closed within four twice in the third quarter but the Ramblers never wavered and pushed the margin to 14.
Back-to-back treys from Vann and Manuel gave Loyola a 70-55 lead in the fourth quarter but Podkowa and Brooke Schulte hit 3s for DePaul and it was 72-68 with 4:30 to go. Loyola answered with a 14-5 run to win going away.
Loyola: The Ramblers entered the game with a four-game losing streak that included a 29-point loss at No. 19 Michigan State and an 81-72 loss to Northwestern. ... They are now 10-27 against DePaul. ... It was Loyola's second win over a ranked team in program history. The first was over then No. 18 Green Bay during the 2009-10 season.
DePaul: The Blue Demons beat No. 15 Texas A&M by 14 then lost by nine at South Dakota State before beating Northwestern. They also lost by 16 at No. 1 UConn and by five at No. 3 Notre Dame.
''We were in a position to have a great December, but we kept having games that would cancel that out,'' Bruno said. ''We had a great game and beat nationally ranked Texas A&M but canceled that out with a loss at South Dakota State. We beat nationally ranked Northwestern and canceled that out by losing to Loyola.''
DePaul had an 11-0 run in the first quarter and built a 17-7 lead but Loyola opened the second quarter with an 11-0 run and, after the Blue Demons answered with eight straight, closed it with a second 11-0 run.
''I actually got a little emotional after the win,'' Swoopes said. ''One, because we won, yeah, but two, understand we thought it was like 24 years, understanding what we just accomplished. Today was the 124th birthday of the birth of basketball. Just a lot of things to be proud of.''
Loyola plays at Rice on Monday.
DePaul opens Big East Conference play at home against Marquette on Dec. 29.