Chicago, IL -- The DePaul Blue Demons came into today's game looking to earn an even second win to start off their exhibition season. The Lewis University Flyers on the flip side came into today's game hoping to add a first tick to their win column in the exhibition season.
As to be expected, the Blue Demons bring their signature speed and fast pace into this 2015 season lead by upperclassmen Jessica January, Chanise Jenkins, and Megan Podkowa. Lewis University hopes to test their skill against a Big East opponent and set the stage to improve upon their Elite Eight appearance in last year's Division II NCAA tournament. Their young roster is lead by fiery senior Jamie Johnson.
"This is a very good Division II team that has a chance to win the National Championship," said Head Coach Doug Bruno on the Flyers.
The Blue Demons started the first quarter with an aggressive full court press, two quick 3 pointers by Brooke Schulte and what seemed to be endless driving lanes straight to the hole.
The much smaller Lewis Flyers were going to have to muster up some semblance of stability if they were to be competitive. Cue outside shooting and a collection of well-timed steals from Jamie Johnson, and the Flyers were able to close out the first quarter down a manageable 21-27.
It seemed as if the second quarter was going to remain much of the same competitive play from the Flyer's, until the Blue Demons kicked their defense into second gear forcing 12 Flyer turnovers to DePaul's 6.
Ultimately, the half ended 50-35 Blue Demons. During his post game interview, Coach Bruno commented on his team's focus throughout the game, "I wish our focus was a little bit better that's all, we need to get better from a focus standpoint."
DePaul's junior duo of Jessica January and Brooke Schulte started off the last 20 minutes in the same manner the Blue Demons started the first 20 minutes.
"Brooke is a really unique player in that Brooke is on the floor because she scores the ball. She is an instinctual scorer; now we have to get her to understand how to find her shots," Coach Bruno on his talented junior.
Schulte added a quick 7 points to her box score in the 3rd quarter, and January added a quick 6 points of her own along with 2 steals, results of her aggressive play.
"I had a lot of energy today; I think the whole team did. We are really excited to play. Being out last spring was hard mentally, so being able to play this season, I am really grateful," Jessica January on her performance today and on an injury she battled the last two months of her 2014-15 season -- an injury that kept her out of practice through the month of August.
While it never felt like the Flyers were completely out of the game, they didn't have the depth to submit the hump and make a legitimate run for the W. Jessica January and her Blue Demons closed out the finally buzzer with a second 87-76 win and a boost of confidence going into their first regular season game against Saginaw Valley State on November 14th.
As the Blue Demons look toward the regular season, Jessica January will most definitely be a key to success, but her supporting cast will be the difference between wins and loses.
"This year we have a totally different team, we are going to have to adjust and see what players are going to step up off of the bench and fill roles," said January.