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DePaul women advance to Big East semifinal with win over Georgetown

DePaul guard Megan Rogowski (21) steals ball from Georgetown guard Katie McCormick (1) during second half an NCAA college basketball

DePaul guard Megan Rogowski (21) steals the ball from Georgetown guard Katie McCormick (1) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Big East women's basketball tournament in Rosemont, Ill., Sunday, March 9, 2014. DePaul won 78-54. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

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Updated: March 9, 2014 9:40PM

DePaul junior guard Megan Rogowski’s family bought 215 tickets for the Big East women’s tournament at Allstate Arena, and she and her teammates gave them their money’s worth Sunday.

The top seeded Blue Demons advanced to the semi-finals Monday with a 78-54 victory over No. 8 seed Georgetown. Rogowski and sophomore teammate Megan Podkowa each scored 17 points to lead four players in double figures.

``I think our players came ready to pay, and we also showed the rest of the league why this is not our home court,’’ coach Doug Bruno said.

The Blue Demons (25-6), the top scoring team in the conference and sixth best in the nation, were held to only 31 percent in the first half. They trailed at one point 18-14 with 8:59 left in the half.

But Podkowa’s basket with 8:20 remaining started an 11-0 run, and DePaul never trailed again.

``Everyone said `keep shooting,’’ she said. ``Shooters shoot. And in the second half they started to fall for me.’’

Senior Jasmine Penny had 14 points and freshman Jessica January had 11 points and 8 rebounds for the Demons.

`It’s all about the players this time of year,’’ Bruno said. ``We didn’t win it quickly or simply. It had to be ground out.’’

DePaul will meet either Villanova or Marquette in Monday’s semi-finals.

DePaul used defense to turn its fortunes, forcing 28 Georgetown turnovers and scoring 33 points off the miscues.

``We tried to minimize their pressure,’’ said Georgetown coach Jim Lewis. ``DePaul is a good defensive team. People look at their high scoring average, but we respect how Doug utilizes his team defensively. They disrupted us.’’

Sophomore Logan Battle had 20 points to lead the Hoyas (11-21).

DePaul took advantage of scoring from the free throw line, going 24-34 from the line to Georgetown’s 5-10 mark.

DePaul out-rebounded the Hoyas 49-36 and also had 20 assists on 24 made baskets.

``It’s always important to win your first game,’’ Bruno said. ``I look at this event as the beginning of something beautiful,’’ he added of making Allstate Arena the permanent site for the conference’s women’s tournament.

``The concept of taking women’s college basketball and selling this product and making this a yearly event…the Skye [of the WNBA] are going to be playing here in a few months [so] let’s make this the city for women’s basketball. That’s what we’re trying to do.’’

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