CHICAGO – It was a result that most fans of DePaul have become accustomed to. But the way the Blue Demons made it happen on Tuesday night made it quite unique.
Their three Big East Women’s Basketball tournament wins were all decisive, but the title game against Marquette was much different. In fact, for the better part of the contest, second-seed DePaul looked like they would be the one to get beaten by double-digits.
Instead, Doug Bruno’s team made a furious rally, and used some late heroics from a junior forward to produce a victory to remember.
Trailing by as much as 13 points to the Golden Eagles in the second half, the Blue Demons came all the way back and grabbed the lead with five seconds left, when Chante Stonewall got inside, hit a shot, drew the foul, and hit a free throw.
It’s one of the best moments for DePaul Athletics in the short history of Wintrust Arena as they beat top seed Marquette 74-73 on Tuesday night. Fans ran to midcourt to join the team as they were presented their fourth conference tournament championship trophies in six seasons.
While they would have likely made it anyway, the victory gives the Blue Demons’ program a berth in their 24th NCAA Tournament and 17th in a row.
Stonewall had a major part in the rally as she scored a season-high 28 points on 11-of-17 shooting. Those efforts were needed when Marquette took a 50-37 with 7:19 to go, but DePaul cut that lead down to six before the end of the third quarter.
Yet the Blue Demons didn’t take the lead until Stonewall’s final hoop and free throw put them ahead for good. The forward’s nine fourth quarter points helped make what has become a common, successful occurrence for the program that much more special.