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DePaul's Sweet 16 Comeback Falls Short

DALLAS - DePaul battled back, but time ran out on the Blue Demons' comeback as they fell 83-71 to second-seeded Oregon State on Saturday in the NCAA regional semifinal.

For the third straight game, Jessica January led DePaul's offensive effort with 20 points with seven coming in the final 10 minutes. The junior eclipsed the 20-point mark for the fifth time in her career including in DePaul's final two games of the season.

Jacqui Grant tied a season-high with 15 points, Mart'e Grays added 14 and Chanise Jenkins added 10 points.

Oregon State, who entered the game averaging just 6.6 3-pointers a game, knocked down 10 triples in the game and shot .400 (10-of-25) from behind the arc. Jamie Weisner scored a career-high 38 points and 10 rebounds. She was 14-for-20 from the field including a 7-of-10 effort from 3-point range.

Sydney Wiese and Ruth Hamblin each added 13 for the Beavers, who shot 50.8 from the field.

Grant scored DePaul's first seven points and January added the next two as the Blue Demons jumped out to an early 9-2 advantage in the opening three minutes of action.

Oregon State (31-4) answered DePaul's scoring outburst with a 16-2 run over the next five-plus minutes and led 18-11 with 1:53 to play in the opening quarter.

Grays knocked down back-to-back triples to end the quarter as DePaul trailed by just four - 21-17 heading into the second quarter.

Oregon State opened the second quarter with a 13-6 run and led 34-23 with 6:27 to play in the half, but the Blue Demons would not go away, using scrappy defense and knocking down big shots including a deep three from January with seconds left in the half. DePaul went to the locker room down 45-38.

The Beavers lead ballooned to as many as 16 points (62-46), but the fearless Blue Demons battled back and got within eight (66-58) when Brooke Schulte completed the three-point-play with 7:51 to play.

With DePaul looking to seize the momentum, Oregon State put together a 10-2 run to make the score 76-60 with 4:01 to play in the game.

The game was the final for Chanise Jenkins and Megan Podkowa. The Blue Demon duo are part of the most successful senior class in DePaul history. The pair led DePaul to three-straight BIG EAST Regular Season titles, two BIG EAST Tournament championships, four straight NCAAs which included two Sweet Sixteens.

Jenkins finishes her career ranked 12th in scoring and second in assists. The 2016 BIG EAST Player of the Year also holds the DePaul record for 3-pointers in a game (10) and led the Blue Demons in scoring this season with 522 points. Her 1,605 career points finishes as the 11th most in school history.

Podkowa concludes her career one of DePaul's best 3-point shooters as well as rebounder and shot blocker. Her .412 3-point field goal percentage ranks third all-time. Her 743 rebounds rank ninth and 128 blocks rank fifth. The Glenview, Ill. native boasted a .481 (52-of-108) 3-point field goal percentage this season, which sets a new DePaul standard.

The Blue Demons finished their season in the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in the program's history and second time in the last three years. DePaul won its third straight BIG EAST regular season title and defeated four ranked teams - all on the road this season.


Post-game news conference.


See also: Illinois Team Secretly Makes Sweet 16.


Comments welcome.

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