Martin's career-high 36 points leads No. 21/18 women past Cincinnati
Published: Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
It may have been Senior Night, but junior forward Anna Martin stole the show.
The Lexington, Ky. native finished with a career-high 36 points on 15-of-19 shooting from the field, leading the No. 21/18 DePaul Blue Demons past the Cincinnati Bearcats 73-51 at McGrath-Phillips Arena on Monday night.
Martin was virtually unguardable all game, showing off her full repertoire, finding and converting on open looks as well as attacking the basket and finishing over multiple defenders.
"My teammates just did a great job of getting me the ball," said Martin, whose 36 points was the most scored by a Big East player in league games this season. "I tried to run the floor and think I got a lot of transition baskets out of that."
Martin also attributed setting good screens as a factor that played to the team's advantage, keeping them ahead for most of the game. Martin said screening wasn't something they had worked on too much over the past few games, "so we really talked about doing that as a team and getting each other open. I just happened to be the one to hit the open shot," she said.
When speaking about Martin's game, Head Coach Doug Bruno applauded her competitive drive and her scoring ability, and also praised her willingness to lock down on defense.
"A lot of coaches protect their scorers from having to guard, and I just think it's important that we have to guard as well," said Bruno. "I think Anna has accepted that responsibility."
The game started choppily for the Blue Demons, falling behind 11-4 early, very much reminiscent of the problems they had against Syracuse on Feb. 21. Bruno noted that the team's "offensive flow was lacking" in their previous two losses against Syracuse and Louisville, a trend the Demons were in danger of continuing.
Yet the team composed itself and went on a 14-2 run, taking the 18-13 with eight minutes left in the first half. From then on, the Blue Demons held the lead for the rest of the night.
DePaul admittedly repeated itself with a sluggish start to the second half, similar to the start of the game, allowing Cincinnati to grab a quick 7-0 run. Yet the Blue Demons once again fought back, this time jumping out to a commanding 26-6 run capped at the 10 minute mark, making the score 55-35. The margin of their lead hovered around 20 points for the rest of the game, until the Demons eventually finished with their 22-point victory.
Katherine Harry played a significant role in the game as well, finishing just four assists shy of a triple double. The junior center scored 10 points on 5-of-10 shooting to go along with 16 rebounds and a career high-tying six assists. Harry did her best to weather double and occasionally triple teams to dish out to open scorers, mainly Martin, while her aggressiveness on the boards was unmatched.
"[Katherine's] just a person that listens and is coachable and keeps getting better," said Bruno. "In the first half she was hanging too much around the perimeter, but in the second half she just had some patience and did a much better job as the half went along."
With the win, Bruno's squad continues to impress with their resiliency playing with only seven players. This was no more evident than on Senior Night, with Deanna Ortiz being the only senior out of a group of four to be able to play. Taylor Pikes, Keisha Hampton and Maureen Mulchrone all sat for the final regular season game, an oddity Bruno commented on afterward.
"I don't know if I've ever had a Senior Day where you have three of them not able to play and only one able to be on the floor," said Bruno. "Deanna's done a great job for us this year of stepping up and stepping with the adversity of all these injuries."
"This senior class is really special," Bruno said. "We have Taylor and Maureen coming from the South Side, Deanna from the Northwest Side and Hampton Philly. Their leadership has really meant a lot to this team."
With the 2011-12 regular season come and gone, the women's basketball team's next test is the Big East Championship in Hartford, Conn. next week. With their win over the Bearcats, the Blue Demons secured a first-round bye and an eight seed. They will play the winner of the Pitt/USF game at 1 p.m. (CT) on Mar. 3.