Chicago, IL -- DePaul may have lost two of their top players from last year, but they definitely didn't lose their style of play. The DePaul Blue Demons beat the St. Xavier Cougars 135 to 64 in tonight's exhibition game.
One of the players the Blue Demons lost was guard Brittany Hrynko. She was the first Blue Demon to be named the Big East player of the year, and she was the ninth Blue Demon to be drafted into the WNBA.
She currently is a free agent in Israel. She was selected by the Connecticut Sun, as the 19th pick overall, but then traded that night to Atlanta Dream. Just two days into training camp Hrynko was cut and then signed to two short-term contracts with the San Antonio Stars and Tulsa Shock.
DePaul's Head coach, Doug Bruno, says he still stays in touch with Hrynko, and his advice to her is, "I always tell her to stay resilient, to be a pro you have to be resilient. She has to have the perseverance to keep coming back."
Bruno's words of wisdom evidently weren't just for Hyrnko. Tonight his team played with resilience the entire four quarters (The new NCAA rule is there are no longer halves, there are four quarters). From the first whistle to start tip-off to the end of the game when the game clock read: 0.0.
DePaul had a 75 point lead on St. Xavier. When asked how did the team remain focused with such a huge lead, senior guard Chanise Jenkins said nonchalantly," We were just taught to win every possession."
The Blue Demons were responsible for the Cougars 27 turnovers with the effective full-court press. Jenkins contributed to four steals and junior guard, Jessica January, had five of her own. Out of the 27 turnovers, DePaul stole 19 of those possessions.
Sitting sideline of the game, one is privileged to hear the sounds of the game. At the beginning of the first quarter, Chanise Jenkins runs up to her opponent on defense and screams, " I got it!" She definitely "had it" all game. Jenkins had 16 points, four assists, four rebounds ( just wanted to point out the fact she is only 5'5" ).
Wait for it...she even blocked 5'8" Sidney Prasse's jumper (remember she is only 5'5") to finish the play with a fast break lay-up. Senior Megan Podkowa also had an impressive first game back from the Big East Championship. Podkowa had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Impressively the Blue Demons only sent St. Xavier to the line one time throughout the entire game, while being in a full-court press defense. When asked what were some game goals for tonight Jenkins said, "One of the team's goals was to shoot more or to make more free throws than the opponent takes. We have to play clean, consistent and composed." Looking over the stat sheet tonight, that goal was definitely attained.
DePaul takes on Lewis University for their last exhibition game of the year. Tip-off is at 3:30 pm at the McGrath-Phillips Arena on Saturday, November 7th.