Associated Press
DePaul guard Brittany Hrynko (12) guards BYU guard Haley Steed (33) during the first half of an NCAA tournament first-round women\'s college basketball game in Rosemont, Ill., Saturday, March 17, 2012.

ROSEMONT, Ill. — After a slow start, the BYU women's basketball team has taken a 29-27 halftime lead over DePaul in a first-round NCAA Tournament game at the All-State Arena.

Reserve center Jennifer Hamson sparked the Cougars off the bench, scoring 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field.The rest of the team only managed 4-of-20 shooting.

Anna Martin, the leading scorer in the Big East Conference, leads the Blue Demons with 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting.

The Cougars didn't score a field goal until nearly five minutes into the game as DePaul raced out to a 10-1 lead.

But thanks to Hamson, the Cougars quickly got back into the game and went ahead 14-12 on a basket by Dani Peterson.

BYU's biggest lead was five at 25-20 before DePaul closed the gap in the final two minutes.

DePaul shot 42.9 percent in the first half, compared to 35.7 for BYU. The Cougars had a big advantage on the boards with 22 rebounds to 13 for the Blue Demons.