First-Place DePaul Encounters Butler on Friday
Feb. 8, 2018
CHICAGO – It wasn’t easy ascending to first place in the BIG EAST, and staying there could be just as challenging.
That’s the focus of coach Doug Bruno and his Blue Demons as they tackle back-to-back road games Friday at Butler and Sunday at Xavier.
Friday’s game at the historic Hinkle Fieldhouse will be shown on the BIG EAST Digital Network and can be accessed via foxsportsgo.com.
Mart'e Grays has been quite a roll reaching double figures in 11 of her last 12 games as DePaul (18-6, 10-2) has won four in a row and eight of its last nine.
After leading the Blue Demons past Marquette, Creighton and Providence last week averaging 17 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting nearly 44 percent from three-point range, the junior forward was honored as the BIG EAST Player of the Week for the first time in her career.
Grays set a career high with 10 field goals and matched a career high with 25 points in last Friday’s 77-67 win over Creighton.
The Blue Demons have made a run to the top behind their trademark balanced attack featuring six players averaging in double figures. In eight games this season, there have been six players that finished in double figures.
Bruno’s team has also reached double figures from beyond the arc in eight of its last nine games and lead the country in three-pointers.
Ashton Millender is second in the BIG EAST in threes and is connecting on 40 percent of her long-distance shots (67-of-167).
In addition to leading the country in three-point shooting, the Blue Demons are No. 1 in three-pointers per game and second in three-point attempts, No. 5 in assists per game and assist-turnover ratio and No. 7 in scoring offense.
The 5-foot, 10-inch Campbell also has 139 rebounds in her last 13 games after her 10-rebound performance in last Sunday’s 81-47 win over Providence. She leads the Blue Demons in rebounding, assists, steals and free throw percentage. Grays is the leading scorer at 14.8 points per game followed by Millender (12.9), Amarah Coleman (12.1), Campbell (10.9), Chante Stonewall (10.3) and Tanita Allen (10).
A successful result on Friday night will give Bruno win No. 700 in his iconic Hall of Fame career.
Butler (13-12, 5-8) comes into Friday's game looking to snap a four-game losing streak after last Sunday's 75-64 BIG EAST loss at Seton Hall.
The Bulldogs are led by Tori Schickel who is averaging 17 points and nearly 10 rebounds a game along with Whitney Jennings who leads the team at 17.5 points per game and also tops Butler in assists, three-pointers, three-point percentage and free throw percentage.
Last month, DePaul defeated the Bulldogs 87-65 at Wintrust Arena as Grays and Millender each scored 20 points. Stonewall finished with 12 points while Coleman, Campbell and Allen each scored 10. The Blue Demons’ pressure defense forced Butler into 24 turnovers.
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