Anna Martin returned after missing nine games with a left knee bone bruise, and DePaul beat Georgetown, 75-55, on Senior Night at McGrath-Phillips Arena Tuesday night.
Martin and fellow senior Katherine Harry both received a rousing ovation from the 2,855 spectators as the starting lineup was introduced.
Martin took her first shot of the game at 19:29, an 18-foot jumper that barely grazed the rim. Harry was there for the put back. Less than one minute later, Martin gave notice that she is indeed back, nailing a three-pointer from the left wing. She played a total of 22 minutes tonight, finishing with 10 points. Any lingering effects from the knee injury were put to rest when she bounced back up after taking a charge in the first half.
“I felt good tonight,” said Martin. “I was ready to be back. My body feels good but my conditioning is not quite there. I am looking forward to this week of practice to be able to get into things.”
Georgetown’s (14-13, 5-9 Big East) Sugar Rodgers, the second leading scorer in Division I at 22.5 ppg, was held to 17 points on 6-15 from the field, including 2-5 from behind the arc.
Rodgers was guarded throughout the night by the combination of Brittany Hrynko, Kelsey Reynolds, and Chanise Jenkins. Rodgers had six points at the half. She played all 40 minutes.
DePaul’s Megan Rogowski added a game-high 21 points off the bench. Rogowski shot 8-14 from the field on a variety of jump shots and penetrations. Her baseline runner followed by a three-pointer gave DePaul a 21-16 first half lead. She scored eight of DePaul’s first 21 points. She added five rebounds from the guard position.
DePaul opened the second half on a 15-6 run and Jenkins’ acrobatic layup off an assist from Hrynko gave DePaul a 50-32 lead with 14:44 left to play.
Martin’s three-pointer followed by a baseline floater extended the lead to 55-35.
Georgetown then went on a 15-6 run to close to 68-52 with 3:10 left. Reynolds’ (eight points) three pointer with 38 seconds left punctuated the win.
Hrynko’s back-to-back three-pointers in the first half gave DePaul a 31-20 lead with 6:07 to play. She finished with 14 points, seven assists and four steals.
DePaul (19-9, 8-6 Big East) led 35-26 at the break.
Harry’s two blocked shots moves her into second all-time at DePaul in blocks, passing Amy Lundquist (1995-97). Harry is the Big East’s active career rebounding leader. She had six points and a game-high 14 rebounds in 34 minutes of play.
DePaul had 21 assists on 28 baskets, but both teams played sloppily, committing 35 turnovers and accounting for 17 steals between them. Hrynko and Jenkins combined for 13 of DePaul’s assists. The Blue Demons are assisting on 64 percent of their baskets this year.
The Blue Demons outrebounded the Hoyas 47-41. DePaul is now 11-0 when out rebounding its opponent.
Megan Podkowa added nine points and four rebounds off the bench for DePaul.
Andrea White added 17 points for Georgetown.
“I wanted tonight to be a ‘thank you,’ but tonight was more of a kickoff,” said DePaul coach Doug Bruno. “I really feel that our team and these seniors still have so much more basketball to play and so many more things to prove.”
That proving continues this Saturday at Pittsburgh at 12:00 CST.
Martin and Harry were presented after the game with framed jerseys of their numbers “5” and “51”, respectively.
And these two have certainly helped frame DePaul women’s basketball during their four years, with three NCAA Tournament appearances including a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2010.
Martin is DePaul’s No. 7 all-time scorer, with 1,674 points. She also has 362 rebounds and 348 assists.
Harry is the only player in DePaul women’s basketball history to amass more than 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 175 blocked shots. She has 1,077 points, 1,108 rebounds and 182 blocked shots.
“The seniors are special people,” said Bruno. “Katherine and Anna came here together. They are like sisters, and they are great human beings. They are very talented basketball players in their own ways.”
Martin and Harry spoke of their time at DePaul.
“This is a chapter in my life where I really grew as a person on the basketball court, academically, and in all areas,” said Martin. “I met some of my best friends and some people that I will want to have in my life forever.”
“I will never forget the times I spent here,” said Harry. “I have afforded a lot of great opportunities through basketball and I can’t put into words how thankful I am that I have been able to do so much through basketball. It’s a time you never forget.”
They also spoke of what it meant to be honored by DePaul, with their parents walking arm in arm with them as they approached to receive their jerseys.
“It was awesome to have my family here tonight and for them to be able to support me for the past four years,” said Martin. “They are like my support system and my foundation.”
“I was trying not to cry, but I didn’t make it,” said Harry. “My dad, my brother, and my older sister were delayed all day. They got here two minutes before halftime. I saw them in the crowd and I got teared up before halftime. It was really special to be able to share that moment with them.”
And while much of tonight’s post-game was a memorial of their past accomplishments at DePaul, both players are confident that this is only the end of their playing time at McGrath-Phillips Arena.
“I am trying not to look at this as the end of the road,” said Martin. “We are just getting started on our legacy as seniors.”