Dec. 7, 2013
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CHICAGO - Right from the start, DePaul came out fast and furious and never let up.
Dominating from the opening tip, the Blue Demons streaked to a 93-55 nonconference victory over North Side rival Loyola Chicago at McGrath-Phillips Arena. DePaul improved to 4-2 on the season while the Ramblers fell to 2-7.
Nothing was going to slow down coach Doug Bruno's players in their quest to get back on the winning track after back-to-back losses to then-No. 5/6 Notre Dame and Northwestern.
"We needed an energized effort from out team tonight," said DePaul coach Doug Bruno. "Local rivals always play you tougher than other people."
Jasmine Penny led DePaul with 19 points and six rebounds while Megan Podkowa finished with 14 points, six rebounds and three steals. Megan Rogowski contributed 12 points and five boards. ShaKeya Graves scored 12 points and Brandi Harvey-Carr added 10 points.
Chanise Jenkins was finding open shooters and setting up teammates for good looks all night. Early in the second half, the sophomore point guard from Whitney Young already had 10 assists. She finished with 10 assists, two short of the arena record set by Deirdre Naughton in 2009.
The 25 assists as a team was the second time DePaul had 20 or more this season. The Blue Demons racked up 28 in a 99-75 win over Harvard.
"My teammates did a good of running the floor," Jenkins said. "There were a lot of openings in Loyola's zone defense.
"My teammates call out my name sometimes. I find them eventually.
"As a point guard, I'm a leader and have to take control out there. Everyone did a good job sharing the ball tonight."
A Penny-inspired 10-0 burst in the second half built the Blue Demon lead to 55-26. Back-to-back Centrese McGee buckets put DePaul up by 31.
"I thought Brittany Hrynko did a good job of managing the game tonight despite her foul trouble," Bruno said. "She did a nice job of providing leadership for the younger players.
"We just finished up the quarter and I'm so proud of the team. We earned 39 A's, 12 Bs and two C's. That comes out to around a 3.6 team grade-point average."
Podkowa scored three-straight baskets to culminate an early 11-0 run and provide a 13-2 lead. Maintaining a blistering full-court press forced Loyola into 11 turnovers less than 10 minutes into the game. A corner three-pointer by Rogowski followed by a Penny three-point play put the home team in front 24-8.
Less than a minute later, Rogowski and Penny had a "three-repeat." Rogowski hit from beyond the arc again and Penny scored on a pretty underhand scoop and converted the foul shot. For good measure, Podkowa buried a three and the lead was 33-10.
DePaul had 13 of the game's first 16 baskets and forced 14 turnovers in the first 13 minutes. Bruno went to his bench early, utilizing Harvey-Carr, Brooke Schulte, McGee, Kelsey Reynolds and Graves.
Back-to-back baskets by Reynolds and Penny followed by Podkowa layup gave the Blue Demons a commanding 43-19 advantage, and they headed into their halftime locker room with a 45-23 lead.
"Getting defensive rebounds is what gets our running game going," Penny said. "It's something that we have to do consistently as a team."
In the first 20 minutes, DePaul had doubled up Loyola in baskets 18-9, forced 16 turnovers and built a 14-1 advantage in assists. The Blue Demons wound up forcing 23 turnovers and finished with a 25-7 edge in assists.
DePaul's next game is a big one, a 6 p.m. tipoff Thursday against No. 5/6 Kentucky at McGrath-Phillips Arena that will be televised by FOX Sports 1.
Notes: DePaul leads the all-time series 36-9 and has now won 20 straight in the series... the Blue Demons improved to 128-5 when scoring 90 or more points, including 52 straight wins... Hrynko started her 70th straight game... Graves scored a career-high 10 points... Jenkins put up 10 assists for the second time in her career, tying a career-high... Penny reached double figures for the 49th time in her career... Podkowa reached double figures for the ninth time in her career... DePaul is now 67-3 against the state of Illinois in its last 70 games against in-state opponents.