No. 24 DePaul women beat 25th-ranked Seton Hall 86-74
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (AP) For the second time in three days, DePaul built a huge lead against a Big East foe only to see it slowly slip away in the fourth quarter.
But just as they did at St. John's on Sunday, the 24th-ranked Blue Demons held off another conference opponent, beating No. 25 Seton Hall 86-74 on Tuesday night.
''I didn't bring it up to them as I like to look forward not backwards,'' DePaul coach Doug Bruno said.
Jessica January led the Blue Demons with the team's first triple-double in 27 years. The junior guard, who had 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, wasn't even aware she had done it until she saw the stat sheet after the game. She got her 10th rebound in the game's final seconds.
''It's cool, I just wanted to win,'' January said.
It was a small bit of revenge for the Blue Demons, who were up 15 at home last season against the Pirates before Seton Hall rallied for a one-point victory.
''We remember last year's game against Seton Hall, they came back on us,'' January said. ''We had to be ready to play and they were going to give us their best game.''
Chanise Jenkins added 21 points for the Blue Demons (11-5, 3-0 Big East), who led by 32 early in the third quarter before holding off a furious rally.
It was the first time in program history that Seton Hall had a home game involving two ranked teams. It was also a rematch of last season's Big East tournament championship game which the Blue Demons won 78-68.
The Pirates almost pulled off a historic rally to secure their best start in school history.
Trailing by 25 with just under two minutes left in the third, Seton Hall scored 17 straight to cut its deficit to 66-58. The Blue Demons scored five straight to restore a double-digit advantage with six minutes left.
Aleesha Powell's 3-pointer with 2:56 left made it a seven-point game, but that's as close as Seton Hall (13-2, 3-1) would get.
She finished with 23 points to lead the Pirates, who re-entered the Top 25 on Monday. Tiffany Jones had 14 points and 16 rebounds for Seton Hall.
''I thought we saw the difference tonight from a team that's a little more poised, played a very difficult non-league schedule,'' said Seton Hall coach Tony Bozzella. ''They came out and hit us, we hit them back, had it stabilized at the end of the first quarter. Second quarter they just dominated us.''
It was the second straight game that DePaul let a 20-plus point lead slip to single digits. The Blue Demons led St. John's by 25 points heading into the fourth on Sunday before the Red Storm cut their deficit to six with under a minute to play. DePaul hit its free throws down the stretch to seal that victory. It didn't come to that on Tuesday night.
''We mentioned the St. John's game. ... We can do this, we have a lot more time,'' Bozzella said. ''Was hoping not to have to mention that.''
DePaul built its big lead behind a strong second quarter when the Blue Demons outscored the Pirates 29-10. They hit 13 of their first 20 shots in the period and only had three turnovers in the first half.
DePaul: January's triple-double was the team's first since Diana Vines did it against Notre Dame in 1989. ... Megan Podkowa, who had a career-high 29 points in Sunday's win over St. John's, had all nine of her points in the second half on Tuesday.
Seton Hall: This was only the fourth time in school history that the Pirates played a game where both teams were ranked. They lost the other three meetings to UConn on the road in 1994 and 1995. ... The Pirates had matched the 13-1 start they had last season which was the best in program history.
DePaul hosts Georgetown on Friday.
Seton Hall visits St. John's on Saturday.