Chicago, IL -- Not only did it feel like I was at a circus when I walked into shootaround and saw Hoosiers' thick striped red and white pants ... but the Blue Demons started off chaotic as well. The sounds of the game started off a little differently tonight.
The Blue Demons started very unorganized saying things like, " Who do I have? Who do you have? Who? NO, I have her! What play are we running?" The Blue Demons were not taking care of the ball. DePaul made lazy passes, and did not start off efficiently or quickly. Indiana forced the Blue Demons to turn over the ball 13 times. Clearly, they weren't playing DePaul Ball.
However, junior Brook Schulte subs in for Tanita Allen like enough is enough. 4.8 seconds left in the first quarter, DePaul has committed six fouls already. Indiana's Tyra Buss breaks through DePaul's fast break at full speed thinking she had a clear lane to the basket...NOPE... Schulte steps right in front of her and takes an offensive charge for her team. A little spark of momentum was just made for the Blue Demons.
Watching Schulte, she has a tendency of creating momentum for her team. She is that player that will go the extra mile for her teammates. She is the one putting her body in front of her opponents forcing charges. She will move that extra inch or two to deflect an incoming pass and go for the steal. She works to get open and makes wide-open cuts in the middle of the paint. She shot over a 6' guard in the paint tonight as well.
Schulte is DePaul's Jimmy Butler.
"I just focus on the little things. I take pride in the little things, just having good defense and getting boards. I know it will help our offense" Brook's response to how she is able to stay consistent in getting second chance plays for her team.
Sometimes stats can't be the only thing that defines a player. You really have to watch what the athlete does off-the-ball to really get a good feel for him/her.
Schulte played 34 minutes tonight scoring 13 points. Statistically, she only had 3 assists and 3 rebounds. But she is getting her team second chance plays because of her hustle and WILL to win. MMMM...sounds like another "WE WILL" from Doug Bruno.
Because of a bad call, Brook doesn't get a block on her stat sheet. But this is what I am talking about with the extra effort she puts forth... Brook is down-low, she lets 6'3 Jenn Anderson get by her, Schulte turns around and scuffs the ball out of Anderson's hand. The ref called a foul; I say good defense. Anderson missed both frees...You know what they say, "The ball never lies."
Defensively, Schulte kept junior Alexis Gassion scoreless in the third and fourth quarter leaving her only eight points in the first half.
Brook moved her way up this year to a starter. She is obviously getting more comfortable with her role.
Why were you so effective tonight with your mid-range jumper?
"Just taking the shots I was comfortable with and being more comfortable with a scorer's mentality."
With less than eight minutes left in regulation, Brook shows just how comfortable she is actually getting. She reaches for the ball and deflects a pass. Podkowa gets the ball, looks down the court and feeds for an easy lay-up. DePaul is back in control with a 71-54 lead.
Her comments after the win, "Any player at any moment can have a big night and step up. That's what so great about our team."
DePaul moves on to the WNIT Championship game on Sunday against Baylor. Tip-off is at 2 pm.