No. 23 DePaul Advances in NCAA Tournament
March 16, 2018
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The latest installment in this high-scoring series belonged to No. 23 DePaul on a warm Friday afternoon in the Lone Star State.
Behind five players in double figures along with a lockdown defense at a critical juncture in the fourth quarter, the Blue Demons defeated Oklahoma 90-79 in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
DePaul (27-7) won its seventh in a row and will play the winner of No. 4 seed Texas A&M and Drake on Sunday.
Once again, the Blue Demon multi-dimensional balance tipped the balance toward the team from Lincoln Park. Amarah Coleman had 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists despite sitting out almost the entire fourth quarter after picking up her fifth foul.
Kelly Campbell contributed 17 points, six rebounds and five assists while Mart'e Grays had 16 points before fouling out in the fourth quarter. Ashton Millender had 16 points and six rebounds, leading a three-point assault that was 12-of-24 from behind the arc. Chante Stonewall turned in a complete game with 12 points, seven boards and six assists.
Coleman was having a terrific all-around game when she was called for her fifth foul with 9:05 left in the fourth quarter. Mart'e Grays' basket made it 77-65 when the Sooners scored six in a row, slicing the lead to 77-71 with 5:26 to go. At that point, Lauren Prochaska and Grays both had four fouls.
It was 79-74 when the DePaul defense held Oklahoma scoreless for 4:35 in building an 11-point lead. Prochaska, Grays and Campbell hit a combination of field goals and free throws to finish it off.
Extending a 10-point halftime lead to 59-45 midway through the third quarter, Allen's basket was the fifth in a row.
The Blue Demons maintained a double-digit advantage until Oklahoma hit four consecutive shots to draw within 65-58 near the end of the period. They went into the fourth quarter leading 68-61.
DePaul opened the game making four-straight from behind the arc in shooting out to a 12-5 lead. Coleman, Grays and Campbell twice accounted for the early connections.
Campbell's three made the 2017-18 team the first in program history to make 400 three-pointers in a season.
Coleman sparked a 13-4 burst that put her team in front 23-9. Subbing out after an explosive seven minutes, the senior guard had eight points, four rebounds and three assists.
A late first quarter run brought Oklahoma within 23-16 after the first 10 minutes.
Millender scored eight quick points and a three by Tanita Allen produced a 36-24 lead at the media timeout of the second quarter.
The Blue Demons went into their halftime locker room with a 42-32 lead, knocking down 10-of-17 from beyond the arc. Coleman and Campbell were both 3-for-3 and Millender 2-for-3 from long distance. Millender had 12 points at the break, Coleman 11 points, five rebounds and four assists and Campbell nine points.
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