STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- After losing to Notre Dame in the semifinals of the Big East tournament, DePaul coach Doug Bruno talked about entering the time of year where it's "crash-and-burn" basketball, a variation on the theme of win-or-go-home postseason reality. His team very nearly lived up to his phrase in the first round against Navy, escaping only with a 56-43 win.
AP Photo/Keith SrakocicNavy's Jade Geif gave DePaul defenders fits.
Some quick thoughts on a game in which the Blue Demons started slowly and never really picked up much steam.
Turning point: Navy's Jade Geif scored coming out of a timeout with 10:33 to play in the second half to cut DePaul's lead to a single point at 41-40. DePaul's China Threatt, 28 seconds after checking in for the first time in the half, then hit a 3-pointer at the other end to give the Blue Demons a four-point lead. Not only was it her only basket of the game, it was only her team's second 3-pointer in 13 attempts.
After forcing Navy into a shot-clock violation on the ensuing possession, DePaul got a layup from Anna Martin to push the lead to six points. The Midshipmen didn't break, but they never got closer than five points the rest of the way.
Key stat: 0-68. That was the all-time record for No. 14 seeds in NCAA tournament play entering Saturday's game at Bryce Jordan Center.
Key players: Jade Geif and Angela Myers. DePaul got some big baskets from Martin and a couple of important 3-pointers from Threatt and Deirdre Naughton, but Navy's duo of Geif and Myers deserve top billing for making use of the opportunity provided by a more talented opponent. Geif finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds, playing bigger than her size throughout, and Myers finished with 13 points, three assists and three steals.
Miscellany: The game marked just the third time this season that DePaul hit as few as three 3-pointers, converting just 3-of-15 shots from behind the arc. The first time was a win against SIU-Edwardsville (1-of-9) and the second a loss at Arizona State (2-of-10). There was a distinct sisterly vibe going on in State College. In the day's first game, Dayton senior Kristin Daugherty and sophomore Kari Daugherty played together for the final time. In the second game, Navy freshman Audrey Bauer played the first game of an all-Bauer weekend -- older sister Lydia will suit up for Green Bay in Sunday's first-round game against Arkansas-Little Rock. And that doesn't even touch on DePaul's Sam Quigley, continuing the Quigley line in the Windy City started by Allie. After the game, DePaul players offered a classy gesture by standing in a line behind the Navy players as the Navy pep band played the school's alma mater.
What's next: DePaul advanced to face Penn State on Monday night.