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No. 19/21 DePaul Closes Out NIU and 2011 on an Afternoon of Milestones
Blue Demon head coach Doug Bruno tallied his 500th collegiate coaching win on Saturday.  No. 21/19 DePaul topped Northern Illinois 65-46.

Blue Demon head coach Doug Bruno tallied his 500th collegiate coaching win on Saturday. No. 21/19 DePaul topped Northern Illinois 65-46.

Dec. 31, 2011

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CHICAGO -- Anna Martin scored her 1,000th career point, and led all scorers with 30, as the No. 19/21 DePaul women’s basketball team defeated the Northern Illinois 65-46 on Saturday at McGrath-Phillips Arena on New Year’s Eve.

DePaul (13-2, 1-0 BIG EAST) traded baskets with their in-state rival throughout the first half, as scrappy defense from both ends of the court provided for minimum runs by both teams.

Martin, who was recently named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll, got the scoring started with a layup off a steal by Brittany Hrynko. NIU freshman Amanda Corral countered with a layup of her own, which proved to be the theme on this final afternoon of 2011.

Satavia Taylor led NIU (6-6, 0-0 Mid American - West) with eight points, while all but one Huskie scored. However, it was not enough to hold off the historic evening for the Blue Demons.

Keisha Hampton climbed further up the all-time scoring ladder, as she hit a turnaround jumper to pass Mfon Udoka for 11th all time.  Hampton’s historic shot, put the Blue Demons up 10-9 with 9:33 left in the first half.

As the first half was winding down, the Blue Demons found themselves playing catch up, as NIU’s Courtney Shelton’s jumper from the charity stripe gave the Huskies a 15-13 lead with 8:55 left.  Katherine Harry’s rebound and layup tied the game at 15 with 7:33 left in the half.

Then, with 45 seconds left in the first half, Martin connected on her first free throw to give her 1,000 points in her career as a Blue Demon. The crowd acknowledged the feat by chanting, “1,000 points! 1,000 points!”

“It’s always about our players here at DePaul,” coach Bruno said of Martin. “She played one of her best games today and she really stepped it up offensively.”

The 30-point performance was Martin’s second of her career, with the first coming as a freshman when he tallied 31 points against Syracuse.

The Huskies gave the DePaul offense fits with their staunch 2-3 zone, as NIU took a 25-22 lead to the locker room at the half. The Blue Demons only shot 25 percent (8-of-31) in the first half and only eight percent (1-of-12) from beyond the arc.

The second half provided new resolutions for the Blue Demons, as they started the stanza with a 14-0 run that lasted 5:48. Martin scored eight of those 14 points, while Harry and Hrynko added to the spree.

As the game was getting out of reach for the Huskies, Martin received a standing ovation from the crowd as she ended her night with 2:57 left in the game.  Then, as the crowd practiced their counting down for later tonight, the clock hit zero, and the Blue Demons walked away by winning their 27th game in a row at home and the band playing to the tune of Auld Lang Syne.

As a team, the Blue Demons blocked a record 10 shots on their home court.  Harry grabbed an astounding 16 rebounds – a season-high for the junior. When all was said and done, Coach Bruno made history with his 500th collegiate head coaching victory.  .

“Besides my dad and my brother, [coach Bruno] is one of the guys I respect the most,” said NIU head coach Kathi Bennett. “[DePaul] wore us down a bit in the second half and we took quick shots, which killed us.”

Even with his 500th win at DePaul, coach Bruno remained humbled and gave credit where it was due: to his team.

“I was really excited how we came out and played in the second half,” coach Bruno said. “I don’t look at [records] that way. It’s all about the next game.”

Martin and her team may agree on what their coach says in terms of finishing a game and preparing for the next one, but she was proud of her coach on his milestone.

“It’s awesome,” Martin said. “He’ a great coach and I’m very proud of him.”

DePaul travels to #15/16 Georgetown (12-2, 1-0 BIG EAST) on Tuesday, January 3 for a 6:00 p.m. (CST) tip to open BIG EAST play.  The game can be heard live on DePaul’s BlueTube with Cami Padilla calling the action courtside.

Notes: The Blue Demons have won their last 27 games at McGrath-Phillips Arena dating back to Feb. 23, 2010 win over Pittsburgh...DePaul improves to 143-21 all-time (.871) at McGrath-Phillips Arena... DePaul head coach Doug Bruno tallied his 540th career coaching victory and 500th at the collegiate level... all 500 wins have come as the head coach at DePaul... Anna Martin became DePaul’s 27th 1,000 point scorer... finished with 30 points... second career 30-point performance... led DePaul in scoring in her last three games... DePaul set a McGrath-Phillips Arena record with 10 block shots... Jasmine Penny had a career-best four blocks and Katherine Harry had three... only the second time DePaul has trailed at the half... Blue Demons were down 25-22... DePaul won its 15th straight over programs from the State of Illinois… DePaul is 5-0 this season against team’s from Illinois... Katherine Harry notched a season-high 16 rebounds... allowed NIU to score just 46 points which is the fewest an opponent has scored all season... last time a DePaul opponent scored less than 50 points was against Navy in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2011... Keisha Hampton came off the bench to score eight points... her eight points moves her to 11th on DePaul’s all-time scoring list... the senior has 1,574 career points... Northern Illinois has dropped its last two games... DePaul now leads the all-time series with Northern Illinois 33-7 and has won the last 18 meetings... DePaul is 18-2 in games played in Lincoln Park.