Led by Keisha Hampton’s 27 points and Felicia Chester’s career-high 24, the No. 22/25 DePaul women’s basketball upset No. 3/2 Stanford, 91-71 in front of a sold out and enthusiastic McGrath Arena crowd on Thursday, Dec. 16.
The Blue Demons, who have won their past 10 games, were aggressive from the opening minutes with their swarming and pressing defense, while their offensive transitions led to open shots.
DePaul (13-1) shot a season-high 59.6 percent (31-of-52) from the field, which included a 10-of-20 showing from behind the 3-point line. Sam Quigley finished the game with 11 points and was 3-of-5 from behind the arc.
Chester put an exclamation point on her career-night with two, 3-pointers—but none was bigger or ignited the crowd more than when the senior drained a trifecta with 6:24 left in the contest and put the Blue Demons up 73-55.
The Blue Demons led for 37:51 of the contest with Stanford’s largest lead, 5-2 in the opening 65 seconds of play, but Anna Martin put the Blue Demons ahead, 7-5 with a 3-pointer with 17:15 in the first half.
Stanford would tie the game at 18 and again at 20 before a China Threatt’s jumper gave DePaul a 22-20 lead with 8:55 to play in the half and the Blue Demons never looked back.
DePaul went up by as many as nine points, 37-28 but seven quick points by Cardinal sent the Blue Demons to the locker room with just a 37-35 advantage.
Refreshed from break, the Blue Demons came out running in the second half and blew the game open with a 26-12 run in the first eight minutes of the second stanza.
Hampton led DePaul in the second half with 23 points, including a stretch when the junior scored nine consecutive points for the Blue Demons. When the dust settled from Hampton’s scoring outburst, DePaul had pushed its advantage to 63-48 with 11:36 to play in the contest.
The Blue Demons sustained its double-digit lead the rest of the way, while a pair of free throws from Maureen Mulchrone gave DePaul a signature, 91-71 win.
Jeannette Pohlen led Stanford (6-1) with 23 points while Nnemkadi Ogwumike grabbed 10 rebounds for the Cardinal.
Chester paced DePaul on the boards with seven rebounds while she also added four steals.
Prior to tip, Stanford announced that it would play without senior Kayla Pedersen, while Deirdre Naughton was also absent from the floor for DePaul.
The win for DePaul, was the program’s first win over a No. 2 ranked team and second over a No. 3 ranked team. The Blue Demons topped then-No. 3 Louisiana Tech, 70-67 on Dec. 14, 1996 at Alumni Hall.
The win also denied Cardinal head coach Tara VanDerveer of her 800th career victory. VanDerveer came into Thursday’s game with a career 799-195 record and was looking to join Pat Summitt, Jody Conradt, C. Vivian Stringer and Sylvia Hatchell as women’s college coaches with 800 wins. That milestone will have to wait and her next try when the Cardinal play against Summitt and Tennessee on Sunday.
DePaul’s win was especially pleasing for Blue Demon head coach Doug Bruno, who both Stringer and Summitt got their 800th victories against DePaul.
For more about Blue Demon Athletics, visit www.depaulbluedemons.com.