Brittany Hrynko lifts DePaul to 84-75 OT win over St. John’s
NEW YORK (AP) — DePaul coach Doug Bruno’s team finally won an overtime game this season, and the Blue Demons did it in front of a record crowd at St. John’s.
After losing their first three overtime games this season, the Blue Demons managed to pull away from St. John’s for an 84-75 victory on Friday in front of a sellout crowd.
“This is our fifth overtime (period) and we haven’t been able to finish them,” Bruno said. “It was nice to finish an overtime game.”
Bruno was impressed that 5,602 fans showed up for the annual field-trip day, posting the first sellout in women’s basketball history at the school.
“St. John’s did a great job filling the place. I can’t say enough that you can see people in the stands at every corner for a women’s basketball game, it’s just huge,” Bruno said. “It’s a thrill to play in that type of environment.”
Brittany Hrynko scored 25 points to lead DePaul, and she didn’t mind the loud atmosphere.
“It was great. Having kids able to watch us play is always a good thing,” the senior guard said. “We had kids at our game when we had Butler. It’s fun for them coming to watch.”
DePaul (13-5, 5-1 Big East) scored the first seven points of the extra session to take an 80-73 lead and St. John’s (13-5, 4-2) couldn’t recover. This game was a rematch of last season’s Big East tournament championship game, which the Blue Demons won.
“Coach Bruno talked about that before the game,” Hrynko said. “We beat them last year. Make sure we we’re ready. We did a good job pulling out the win.”
St. John’s had a chance to win in regulation, but couldn’t hold on to a late lead. The Red Storm led 71-68 when Aaliyah Handford made one of two free throws with just over a minute left.
After a 3-pointer by Hrynko cut it to one, the teams traded free throw attempts. Danaejah Grant only hit one of two and then Brooke Schulte hit both hers with 17 seconds remaining to tie the game.
“We’ve free throwed some games away,” Bruno said. “Brooke hitting those was huge. They were pressure-packed free throws.”
Handford had a chance to win it at the end of regulation but her 3-pointer from well beyond the top of the key was off the mark. Handford finished with 25 points to lead St. John’s, while Grant added 23.
“We’ve been very good at the end of games closing games out, today we weren’t,” St. John’s coach Joe Tartamella said. “When they are on the line, I expect them to close out the game.”
DePaul: The Blue Demons had lost their three previous overtime games, falling to Northwestern, Notre Dame and Villanova.
St. John’s: The previous record crowd for women’s basketball was 5,018 for another field-trip day against South Florida on Feb. 8, 2012.
DePaul: Visits Seton Hall on Sunday
St. John’s: Hosts Marquette on Sunday.