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Blue Demons Cruise Past Saint Xavier in First Exhibition Game
Jessica January scored 16 points, dished out five and had four steals against Saint Xavier.


Jessica January scored 16 points, dished out five and had four steals against Saint Xavier.

Oct. 29, 2013

Photo Gallery  | Box Score: DePaul 101, Saint Xavier 59 Get Acrobat Reader  |  Video Highlights

CHICAGO - Coach Doug Bruno took his women's basketball team out for a test drive on Tuesday night, and this latest model raced up and down the McGrath-Phillips Arena court.

It was a smooth ride with DePaul's high-performance engine hitting on all cylinders in a 101-59 victory over St. Xavier in its exhibition season opener.

A balanced Blue Demon attack featured Jasmine Penny, Megan Rogowski and Jessica January with 16 points each while Megan Podkowa and freshman ShaKeya Graves scored 11 points apiece. Chanise Jenkins contributed seven points, seven assists and six rebounds.

DePaul began revving it up with a 16-2 run midway through the first half that provided an early 26-16 lead. Penny and exciting new freshman guard January were instrumental in the opening salvo.

After Morgan Stuut (24 points) hit a three-pointer to bring the Cougars within 26-19, the Blue Demons hit the after-burner. Fueled by Penny, January and Brittany Hrynko, DePaul went on a 26-0 blitz. January's three-point play gave the home team a 52-19 lead.

Combine those two game-defining runs and Bruno's team outscored St. Xavier 42-5. DePaul held the Cougars scoreless for more than seven minutes and wound up forcing 24 turnovers in the first 20 minutes.

The Blue Demons led 57-25 at halftime, and all of this is befitting an NCAA power picked to finish first in the BIG EAST Conference this season.

"We were able to experiment with our quickness and had an opportunity to scramble the game up," Bruno said. "It's nice to have so many options with a healthy team. It took a little while for our pressure to kick in."

Igniting this team is perhaps the deepest and most talented backcourt Bruno has fielded in years. The trio of Hrynko---the BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year---Jenkins and January wreaking havoc with their outside shooting, penetration and playmaking skills along with Rogowski, Kelsey Reynolds, Graves and Centrese McGee is intriguing.

Bruno loves to play racehorse basketball, and this team gets up and down the court in a hurry. He lobbied hard for the new NCAA rules that encourage a more offensive game, and these Blue Demons are looking to take full advantage of the tighter officiating.

"I think Jess January had a good night," Bruno said. "She showed why she is a real big recruit for us. We have a lot of talented guards and that's really too much for a basketball coach to grasp out on the floor. You need an actuary to figure it out.

"Every guard we have can play. Let's use them in force as a weapon."

DePaul closes out the exhibition season with a 7 p.m. game Friday against Illinois Wesleyan at McGrath-Phillips Arena.