Home > JOUR523, Journalism > Harry, Martin lead No. 22 DePaul women’s basketball over Villanova 79-73

Harry, Martin lead No. 22 DePaul women’s basketball over Villanova 79-73

CHICAGO — It may have been Villanova coach Harry Perretta‘s 1,000th game coaching the Wildcats and Anna Martin‘s 21st birthday, but it was Katherine Harry‘s game that stole the show for the No. 22 DePaul Blue Demons as they capped off a 79-73 Big East win at McGrath-Phillips Arena Wednesday night.

Harry picked up her sixth double-double of the season, her third in the last four games and her second consecutive 20-point game in the win for DePaul (18-7, 6-5). The 20-point game tied her career high. The junior also picked up 14 rebounds, one block, and one steal in a performance Head Coach Doug Bruno called, “big number basketball.”

“Katherine made some great plays tonight,” Bruno said. “If you’re not going to be able to guard [Laura] Sweeney, you can’t be on the floor. [Sweeney] was on pace to score 90 points, but Katherine hunkered down once she got some seat time and was able to watch her from the bench.”

Sweeney put up 22 points for the visiting Wildcats (15-9, 5-6). However, 19 of those points came in an up-and-down first half in which Sweeney hit seven of eight from the floor and a perfect three-for-three from beyond the arc.

Although DePaul is the Big East’s best two 3-point shooting team, it was the Blue Demons’ inside play that helped Bruno’s squad pick up its sixth win in conference play.

The Blue Demons out-rebounded the Wildcats 40-30, including grabbing nine rebounds off the glass on offense. DePaul also scored 40 points in the paint, while Villanova scored just 24.

Martin – whom the DePaul cheering section the Blue Crew saluted in the closing seconds of the game with a rendition of “Happy Birthday” – shot 64 percent from the field and led all scorers with 24 points: a bounce-back performance coming off the loss to No. 2 Notre Dame in which the junior only had three buckets.

Martin, who’s only one of seven healthy players for the Blue Demons, highlighted the need to stay positive as the team heads into the remaining five games of the regular season.

“The past two years I felt really drained at this point, but this year I’m trying to stay positive and stay up,” she said. “Staying positive at this point is huge. I remember my freshman year in the Big East and it was tough.”

For the Blue Demons, staying positive is vital as injuries to key players and leaders like Keisha Hampton have limited DePaul to just two players to call on from the bench.

“It’s been a role change for me from what it was at the beginning of the season,” Harry said. “Losing seniors to injuries was tough, and last year we lost Sam Quigley and Felicia Chester [to graduation]. You can’t replace players like Sam and Felicia. We’re just trying to be us and try to replace their leadership roles. I’m not Felicia and Anna’s not Sam, but we can be the vocal leaders on and off the court for this team.”

Up next for DePaul is a home court match-up with Marquette on Sunday.

“Going into [the Villanova] game, it was what Coach Bruno said: ‘We need to win one game in a row six times,’ so we’re just going to stay positive and try to do that,” Martin said.

Sunday’s game with Marquette will be shown on ESPN2 as part of the network’s “February Frenzy.” Tip-off is at 1:30 p.m.

Villanova players and coaches were unable to comment after the game.

Notes: DePaul guard Brittany Hrynko had a career-high 9 rebounds in the game, as well as her fourth-consecutive game with five or more assists…. Laura Sweeney’s 22 points put her over 1,000 in her college career…. Villanova shot 53.6 percent in the first half, but only 37.5 percent in the second

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