The West Virginia women's basketball team's five-game win streak came to an end at the hands of No. 24/20 DePaul Saturday as the Blue Demons took a 77-63 decision at the WVU Coliseum.
The Mountaineers (19-7, 9-4) came out of a 38-24 halftime lead, but a slow start to the closing half allowed the Blue Demons (20-7, 8-5) a 20-3 run and control of the game, 44-41, at the 13:15 mark.
An Averee Fields' layup brought WVU within one, 44-43, before DePaul continued to pull away with three consecutive threes from Brittany Hrynko stretching the deficit to as many as 18 points with 3:45 left. WVU had a 10-6 scoring advantage to the end of the game, but ran out of time.
"We didn't play hard when we came out that first four minutes," coach Mike Carey said. "We let them run layups on us, didn't get back on defense, too many turnovers and we quit guarding. We were stagnant. Give DePaul credit. They came out and took it to us."
DePaul came out shooting only 31 percent in the opening half, limited to a solo 3-pointer, but came out of halftime with vengeance, shooting 68.0 percent (17-25) from the floor and 71.4 percent (5-7) from 3-point range. Mountaineer fouls also helped DePaul in the second half as the Blue Demons made 14-of-21 attempts and finished the game shooting 65.5 percent (19-29) from the free throw line.
WVU opened the game shooting 42.8 percent (14-32) and was stifled to only 27.3 percent (9-33) in the closing half. The Mountaineers' shot a mere 23.8 percent (5 -21) from beyond the arc. WVU made 80 percent of its free throws, but was only sent to the line 15 times.
The Mountaineers out-rebounded DePaul 45-31, but lost the turnover battle 18-9. DePaul capitalized 24 points off turnovers and dominated the paint 32-26.
Ayana Dunning recorded a double-double with 14 rebounds and 12 points. Christal Caldwell led WVU in scoring with 16 points, while Asya Bussie chipped in another 11. Brooke Hampton contributed five assists in only 13 minutes.
DePaul had four players in double figures behind Hrynko's game-leading 21 points, including 4-of-8 3-pointers. Anna Martin recorded 19 points, six coming from the free throw line and Jasmine Penny had another 16 points, also with six coming from the free throw line. Katherine Harry chipped in another 15 points.
The game was a Play4Kay game with 6,516 fans in attendance, the sixth-largest women's basketball crowd in the history of the WVU Coliseum.
The Mountaineers continue BIG EAST play as they travel to St. John's on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.