After USF scored on a Porche Grant layup with 14:29 to play in the game, the Blue Demons rattled off a 21-5 run to break open the game and take a 66-50 lead with 6:22 left. DePaul never looked back and won the game 77-61.
USF (9-9, 0-4) trailed by eight at halftime but rallied to pull within two, 45-43, and give DePaul (16-2, 4-0) a scare at their home in the McGrath Center in Chicago on Tuesday night. DePaul is now 9-0 at home this season and off to its best start since joining the Big East for the 2005-06 season.
USF was led by junior guard Andrea Smith, who finished with 16 points, but was held scoreless over a 14 minute span in the second half, allowing DePaul to extend its lead. Leondra Doomes-Stephens scored 10 of her 14 points in the second half and added a team-high eight rebounds, including three offensive rebounds.
The Bulls shot 37 percent from the floor and were able to out-rebound DePaul 17-13 in the first half, but were unable to keep up their effort on the glass, losing the rebound battle 45-43.
Taylor Pikes came off the DePaul bench to record a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Three other Blue Demons – Felicia Chester, Keisha Hampton and Anna Martin – reached double figures as DePaul outscored USF by eight points in each half.
USF is off to an 0-4 start in the Big East and will try to earn its first conference win when it hosts Marquette in the Sun Dome at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.