The Demons' Deirdre Naughton went down with a right knee injury in the first half, and DePaul lost to the Wildcats 59-55.
"I was very proud of our basketball team for their ability to overcome the adversity of losing one of our key players and putting ourselves in position to win this game," DePaul head coach Doug Bruno said.
With both teams struggling offensively, Naughton converted one of two free throws to cut the Wildcats' lead to 15-12. She was then defending on a fast break, planted her right knee, and went to the floor with 9:15 left in the first half. She did not play the rest of the game, and the status of her injury remained unknown after the game.
Northwestern was unable to seize the opportunity, and DePaul did not let the game get away from them as the Wildcats led 25-20 at the half.
The Wildcats grabbed their largest lead of the game at 33-22 on a three-pointer by Danielle Diamant with 16:50 left to play in the contest. But even with Naughton on the bench, the Demons still had plenty of fight left in them.
A three-point play by DePaul's Felicia Chester sparked a 10-3 run, and a three-pointer from the right wing by Courtney Webb closed the gap to 36-32.
"I was just thinking that we can't give up and I was telling my teammates not to give up," Chester said. "Ten points may seem like a lot, but you have to inch your way back."
A three-pointer by freshman Anna Martin pulled DePaul to 39-37 with 9:35 left to play.
Northwestern then started a 10-2 run and led 49-39 with 6:16 remaining.
The Demons then countered with a 16-0 run started by Keisha Hampton's lay up and finished by a steal and lay up by Martin to go up 55-49 with 2:33 left to play. The Demons would not score again.
"Once you are up six within 2:00 you have to finish it," Bruno said.
Two free throws by Northwestern's Kristin Cartwright with :38 left gave the Wildcats the lead 56-55. Hampton misfired on a 12-footer in the lane with :26 left to play, and free throws finished out the scoring.
Chester led DePaul with 14 points and she grabbed eight rebounds. Jen Juergens added 11 points and Martin scored 10 points.
DePaul was out rebounded 51-38 and shot 29% from the floor.
Northwestern was led by Beth Marshall's 14 points.
The Demons fall to 4-1. Their road trip continues this Saturday at Northern Illinois at 3:00 p.m. CST.
Notes: Northwestern now leads the series 14-13...DePaul is now 10-1 versus Northwestern in the last 11 games between the two schools...The loss ended DePaul's streak of 36 consecutive wins against schools in Illinois.
CHICAGO - DePaul senior guard Deirdre Naughton will miss the remainder of the 2009-10 season with a…