Lincoln Park, IL - (21) DePaul University flew past Appalachian State by a final score of 99-58 today, Nov. 11. The returners played significant minutes for DePaul as well as did the new additions to the team. Every active Blue Demon contributed to the 99 points scored.
“We had great energy to start the game,” Head Coach Doug Bruno said. “We have a young team, and they got a lot of playing time. In the second half, we had three freshmen out there. They had a lot of learning tonight.”
DePaul started the first quarter with a quick 10-0 run. Appalachian State looked like they were just hit by a semi-truck. They weren’t ready for “DePaul Ball.” DePaul started its season opener with the infamous full court press and their undeniable defensive pressure. “DePaul Ball” forced 14 turnovers and seven steals in the first quarter alone.
The Blue Demons didn’t take their foot off the gas even with a 30-5 lead over the Mountaineers to end the first quarter. Brooke Schulte was consistently on the floor diving for loose balls, while Jessica January’s fast eyes and even quicker hands tore apart the Appalachian’s offense.
With Doug Bruno heading into his 31st season, he definitely respects the game and preaches on it.
“It is very important to set a tempo,” Bruno said. “And not 90-foot pressure, but 24-foot pressure. We make it a point to win every possession.”
The returning players paved the way for the incoming freshmen and showed them exactly what it takes to play “DePaul Ball.”
The second quarter was all about the “freshies” after the returners did what they had to do. Freshman Kelly Campbell dribbled right past her defenders for an easy right-handed layup, extending the team’s lead 44-9. On the next play, Campbell, still feeling hot, nailed a three over Bria Carter for her fifth point of the night.
Today’s forecast in Chicago was 46 degrees with a zero percent chance of precipitation. However, DePaul messed with Mother Nature as they made it rain in McGrath Arena late in the second quarter.
“Freshie” Deja Cage came straight off the bench and shot a cold three for her first points of the night. The rain cloud stayed on the Blue Demons’ side as another freshman, Claire McMahon, shot her first three of the evening as well.
Depaul’s Amarah Coleman got in on the action, too, banking in DePaul’s third consecutive three-pointer and extending the lead 56-13. The Mountaineers’ Katelyn Doub ended her team’s drought as she made it rain with a three of her own to give Appalachian State a slight lift, but DePaul went into the locker room leading 65-20.
The Blue Demons started the second half slower than they anticipated. Only three Blue Demons scored in the third quarter, Ashton Millender (9), January (4), and Coleman (2). The Mountaineers outscored DePaul 18-15 in the third quarter.
DePaul’s bench closed out the night scoring 36 of their 99 points. Cage scored 10 of her 13 points in the fourth quarter alone. McMahon reached double digits as she scored her 11th point from behind the arc.
Millender led the Blue Demons with 19 points and three assists. Right behind her was Coleman with 16 points and three steals. Jessica January pitched in 14 points of her own along with five steals and seven assists.
“It felt pretty good,” Ashton said on her 19-point performance. “I learned that no matter the score, you have to keep playing. Coach says there is no such thing as garbage time, just getting better time.”
“DePaul Ball” was no match for Appalachian State. The Blue Demons had 44 points in the paint and 36 points from behind the arc. The Mountaineers didn’t have an answer for that. DePaul forced 32 turnovers and had 24 assists compared to Appalachian State’s 6 assists.
Man, it must have felt good to be back in the McGrath-Phillips Arena. DePaul will take on UAB tomorrow at 8 p.m. CT to close out the 10th annual Maggie Dixon Classic.