Morris helps No. 20 DePaul women hold off Marquette 87-82

Deja Church scored a career-high 24 points, Sonya Morris added 23 and her layup with 26 seconds left gave No. 20 DePaul enough breathing room to outlast Marquette 87-82 in a ferocious rivalry game on Sunday.

The Blue Demons (10-4, 7-2 Big East Conference) had battled Marquette through a tight first half, but then opened the second with a 19-4 run and seemed on the verge of a runaway win.

Marquette (12-4, 9-3) held DePaul scoreless for nearly all of the final five minutes of the third quarter as it chopped the lead down from 17 points to four, 63-59, and kept going into the fourth.

The Golden Eagles grabbed a 64-63 lead with a 3-pointer and a layup wrapped around a DePaul turnover and the final quarter was tense all the way to the finish.

Morris scored nine of her 23 in the final period, Lexi Held added 17 points and five steals and Dee Bekelja scored 18. Church also had five steals and six rebounds.

Lauren Van Kleunen and Jordan King, with a career-high, each scored 21 for Marquette with Selena Lott adding 13 and Camryn Taylor 10. Claire Kaifes scored all nine of her points in the fourth quarter, dropping three dagger 3-pointers.

Held threw a massive head fake that opened a truck-sized lane from the 3-point line to the hoop, laying it off the glass and sparking the Demons’ 19-4 breakaway to open the second half.

DePaul is at St. John’s on Wednesday while Marquette plays host to Butler on Wednesday.