Women's Basketball Begins BIG EAST Championship Journey on Saturday
HARTFORD, Conn. -- The DePaul women's basketball team enters its fifth BIG EAST Championship as the No. 7 seed after finishing the regular season tied for sixth place with Rutgers. The Blue Demons are slated to play the winner of the No. 10 Marquette/No. 15 Villanova game on Saturday, March 6 at 6 p.m. (EST) at the XL Center.
The second round game can be seen live on the BIG EAST TV while the game will also be streamed live on www.BIGEAST.org. Dave Bernhard, the voice of DePaul women's basketball, will also call the game live for www.DePaulBlueDemons.com with his pregame show set to begin at 5:45 p.m.
The winner of Saturday night's game is slated to face second-seeded West Virginia in the quarterfinals on Sunday at 6 p.m. That game will be broadcast on ESPNU.
DePaul enters the BIG EAST Championship on a four-game winning streak and has won seven of its last 10 games. The Blue Demons are led by second-team all conference performers, Keisha Hampton and Sam Quigley. Hampton leads DePaul with 14.1 points per game, while Quigley follows with 13.1 points and 5.4 assists per game.
The Blue Demons defeated both of their potential second round opponents during the regular season. DePaul topped Villanova 64-60 in Chicago, while it won both meetings with Marquette. The Blue Demons defeated the Golden Eagles 73-63 in Lincoln Park on Jan. 31 and took a 72-63 game in Milwaukee on Feb. 20.
BIG EAST Championship Presented by New York Life: The BIG EAST will welcome all 16 teams to the 2010 BIG EAST Women's Basketball Championship Presented by New York Life, who will all battle for the conference's automatic NCAA tournament bid. The women's tournament begins Friday, March 5 and continues through the championship game, which will be played Tuesday, March 9. All games will be played at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. While this year's BIG EAST Championship includes all 16 teams, the regular season remained a crucial part of the conference schedule. The top four teams in the final regular-season standings will receive byes through two rounds of tournament play. The No. 5-8 seeds will earn first-round byes.
BIG EAST Championship Notables: DePaul is playing in its fifth BIG EAST Championship since joining the league in 2005-06... qualified for the tournament in 05-06, 06-07, 07-08 before the tournament moved to a 16-team format in 2008-09... the program is 24-17 (.585) all-time in conference tournaments dating back to the 1989 season... in BIG EAST Championship play, the Blue Demons hold a 4-4 record... all four wins have come in DePaul's opening round game... as a No. 6 seed in 2008-09, the Blue Demons defeated 11th seeded West Virginia 75-72 in overtime, but then dropped a close 62-59 game to No. 4 Pittsburgh... as a ninth seed in 2007-08, DePaul upset eighth-seeded Marquette, 73-69, before falling to top-seeded Connecticut, 86-67, in the quarterfinals... in the 2007 tournament, DePaul - as a No. 10 seed - defeated seventh-seeded Notre Dame, 76-71, in the first round before falling to second-seeded Rutgers, 63-55, in the quarterfinals... the third-seeded Blue Demons defeated No. 6 seed Pittsburgh, 69-46, in the quarterfinals before falling to second-seeded Connecticut, 69-57, in the semifinals of the 2006 tourney... with two games in each of its four BIG EAST Tournaments, DePaul is just one of three teams to play in multiple conference tourney games... Connecticut and Pittsburgh have also played at least two games in each of the last four BIG EAST Championships.
Sizing up the field: DePaul went 9-7 against during the regular season against the 16-team field... against the top eight seeds, DePaul was 0-7... of those seven losses, six were on the road, St. John's topped DePaul 68-51 at McGrath Arena... DePaul took second seeded West Virginia to overtime, but fell 64-57... DePaul's lost by four or less points at Rutgers and Providence...DePaul was a perfect 9-0 against seeds 9-16 with two wins over Marquette.
Noting the Blue Demons: DePaul is 653-383 (.630) all-time... the 2009-10 campaign is the 36th season of women's basketball at DePaul University... DePaul has made at least 200 3-pointers in a season the last 10 seasons... since the start of the 2003-04 season (222 games), the Blue Demons have held 63.1 percent of their opponents to less than 70 points (140-of-222)... in that span, DePaul is 119-21 (.850) when holding opponents to less than 70 points... DePaul has held 21 of its 30 opponents to less than 70 points this season... in that same time span, DePaul has scored 70 or more points in 151 games... DePaul is 130-21(.861) when scoring 70 plus points... this season, DePaul is 15-0 when scoring 70 or more points... in the last five-plus seasons (192 games), the Blue Demons are 135-57 (.703)... in the last 61 home games against conference opponents, DePaul has posted 49 victories... over the last nine-plus seasons (315 games), DePaul has scored at least 80 points in 106 games... the Blue Demons hold a 101-5 (.953) record in those games... in the same span, DePaul is 42-1, including 40 straight wins, when scoring at least 90 points.
It could happen: The game is No. 1037 in DePaul women's basketball history... Quigley could start her 67th consecutive game, the longest active streak on the team... with one assist, Quigley has dished out an assist in her last 60 games... Felicia Chester needs two blocks to tie for 10th in DePaul's single-season block record... Cathy Pezdirtz (1992-93) had 40 blocks.
Recapping USF: USF took an early 15-12 lead, but the Blue Demons responded with a 15-5 run and jumped out to a 27-20 lead... led 32-27 at halftime... the Blue Demons led by as many as 20 in the second half and went 11-of-12 from the free throw line for the game...DePaul reached the 20 win mark for the 18th time in the program's 36 seasons... third consecutive season to reach the 20 win plateau... DePaul won its last four games and finished tied for sixth in the BIG EAST Conference standings... is the No. 7 seed at the BIG EAST Championship... aHad a season-high 10 3-pointers... last time DePaul hit 10 3-pointers was at Cincinnati on March 2, 2009... Keisha Hampton led DePaul and tied a career-high with four 3-pointers... Taylor Pikes added a career-high three, 3-pointers... DePaul had a season-high 22 assists... Sam Quigley and Anna Martin paced DePaul with five assists each... DePaul is now 15-0 this season when scoring 70 or more points... improves to 130-21 when scoring 70 or more points since 2003-04... Hampton led DePaul with 23 points... sixth 20-point game this season... reached 20+ points in three of her last five games... scored 19 vs. Syracuse... Sam Quigley started her 66th consecutive game and has recorded an assists in her last 59 games... Quigley now has 162 assists this season which ranks fourth all-time... USF's Jessica Lawson recorded her 17th double-double of the season with 13 rebounds and 11 points... has registered a double-double in six of her last seven games... Four Bulls finished in double-digits... Leondra Doomes-Stephens led USF with 17 points... DePaul now leads the all-time series with Syracuse, 11-6... the win snaps a two-game USF series winning streak... DePaul is now 26-4 in series games played in Tampa.
Looking Ahead: Following the BIG EAST Championship, the Blue Demons will await the NCAA Selection Show on March 15... ESPN will broadcast the selection show live at 6 p.m. (CST)... DePaul will host its annual selection show party at McGrath Arena... doors open at 5 p.m... select players and Coach Bruno will be available to the media following the selection announcement.
Looking at the RPI: DePaul has a RPI of 29 in the NCAA RPI rankings that were released on March 1... UConn (1), Notre Dame (6), West Virginia (9)Georgetown (14), St. John's (19) are ahead of DePaul in the NCAA RPI... the Blue Demons have a RPI of No. 25 according to RealTimeRPI.com... UConn (1), Notre Dame (6), West Virginia (9), Georgetown (11) and St. John's (15) are ranked ahead of DePaul in that poll... DePaul is No. 27 in CollegeRPI.com... UConn (1), Notre Dame (6), West Virginia (10), Georgetown (17) and St. John's (19) are all ranked before DePaul.
Marching Along: DePaul made its seventh consecutive and the program's 14th NCAA Championship appearance in 2009... Blue Demons were one of seven BIG EAST programs in the field of 64... the conference led all leagues along with the Big 12 with teams earning bids... the program is 7-14 (.333) all-time in NCAA Championship play...DePaul is one of 14 teams to appear in each of the last seven tournaments... joining the Blue Demons on the list of 14 teams with seven straight NCAA's are Connecticut, Duke, Georgia, LSU, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Purdue, Rutgers, Stanford, Tennessee and Vanderbilt... the seven straight appearances are a program record for consecutive NCAA's... DePaul earned four consecutive NCAA berths from 1990-93 followed by a three-year run from 1995-97... the program is 4-8 entering in its last seven tournament appearances, including a 2006 NCAA Regional Semifinal appearance in San Antonio, Texas.
Nancy Lieberman Award Finalist: Junior guard Sam Quigley has been named one of eight finalists for the 11th Annual Nancy Lieberman, an award given to the nation's top point guard. "Sam Quigley has worked her way into becoming one of 'the elite' point guards in the nation. She is a tremendous vocal leader who also leads by example as she is the toughest and hardest working players on our team. Making her teammates better is what the Nancy Lieberman Award is all about," head coach Doug Bruno said of his point guard. Quigley leads the Blue Demons assists while she has reached double-digits in scoring in 19 games this season. Quigley averages a BIG EAST Conference best 38.3 minutes per game this season, boasts a 1.5 assist to turnover ratio and leads the Blue Demons with 57 steals.
"Win One in a Row, Four Times": Following DePaul's 86-62 loss at then No. 4/3 Notre Dame, DePaul head coach Doug Bruno challenged his players to "win one in a row, four times"... DePaul did just that, picking up road wins at rival Marquette and USF and topped Pittsburgh and Syracuse at McGrath Arena... in those four wins, the team averaged 72.2 points per game with an average margin of victory of 9.3 points... Keisha Hampton led a quartet of Blue Demons in doubles figures with 18.5 points per game... Anna Martin (13.0), Felicia Chester (11.8) and Katherine Harry (10.0) also averaged double-digits... Sam Quigley averaged 7.5 assists and had a career-best 11 assists against Pittsburgh... Quigley boasts a 2.5 assist to turnover ratio in her last four games.
Charity Stripe Success: If the season were to end today, DePaul's .762 (358-470) would be a program single-season best... On Feb. 28, DePaul ranked the 13th country and leads the BIG EAST with a .758 (347-for-458) free throw percentage... Sam Quigley ranked 61st in the nation and leads the Blue Demons with a .829 (102-for-123) free throw percentage... Quigley's free throw percentage ranks fifth in the BIG EAST... DePaul started the season with a 17-for-18 (.944) effort against Central Michigan... against West Virginia was 9-for-10 with Keisha Hampton hitting 8-of-8 for a season-best... Martin duplicated Hampton's feat with an 8-for-8 showing vs. Syracuse... 30 DePaul players have gone 8-for-8 while 11 other players have also had a perfect free throw percentage (16-for-16 is the DePaul record)... DePaul shot over .750 in 19 games this season... nine Blue Demons have recorded a 1.000 free throw percentage (min. 2 attempts) 43 times this season... Quigley has 12 perfect efforts while Hampton has eight and Felicia Chester and Jennifer Juergens each have seven perfect games.
Nice Pass: Sam Quigley ranks 24th in the country with 5.4 assists per game... ranks second in league behind West Virginia's Sarah Miles (6.3 apg)... Quigley ranks No. 112 in the country in assist to turnover ratio... the junior leads the Blue Demons with 162 assists while she has turned over the ball just 111 times for a 1.46 assist to turnover ratio... 162 assists is the fourth most in a single season... needs 24 assists to tie Tammy Williams for third... Quigley has led the Blue Demons in assists 24 times this season... had a career-best 11 assists vs. Pittsburgh on Feb. 23... 11 assists is the most by a BIG EAST player in league action this season... has had at least one assist in her last 59 games.
Balanced Attack: DePaul has four players averaging double-digits heading into the BIG EAST Championship... Keisha Hampton leads the quartet with 14.1 ppg, Sam Quigley follows with 13.1, while Felicia Chester averages 10.1 and Anna Martin has 10.0... nine different players have reached double-figures this season a total of 98 times... four different players have scored 20 or more points 15 times... Hampton and Quigley each have six 20+ point performances... Martin is the only player to reach the 30 point plateau.
Minute Monster: Sam Quigley leads the BIG EAST by averaging 38.3 minutes per game... Quigley has played 14 complete games this season and 17 in her career... the junior averaged a league best 39.9 minutes in BIG EAST games this season (DePaul played two overtime games in league play)... in her last 16 games, Quigley has sat just 12 minutes and played all available minutes at Rutgers, West Virginia, Seton Hall, Georgetown, Cincinnati, Marquette (Jan. 31), at Providence, against Connecticut, at Notre Dame vs. Pittsburgh and Syracuse... played five consecutive 40 minute games before getting a minute break against Villanova... played 1148 of a possible 1215 minutes this season.
Hampton on Fire in the last five: Sophomore Keisha Hampton averaged 20.4 points in DePaul's last five games... registered a career-high 28 at then No. 4/3 Notre Dame (Feb. 14)... following an eight point day at Marquette (Feb. 20), Hampton lit up Pittsbrugh (Feb. 27) with 22 first half points and finished with 24... she recorded 19 vs. Syracuse and finished the regular season with 23 at USF... in her last five games averaged 5.4 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 2.8 steals... tied a career-high with four blocks and a season-high five steals against Pittsburgh.
Hanging on the freshman Harry: Freshman forward Katherine Harry entered the starting lineup against Arkansas on Dec. 19... named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Feb. 2... career-high with 18 boards in DePaul's wins over UNLV (Dec. 21), Cornell (Nov. 20) and Cincinnati (Jan. 27)... has nine double-figure rebound performances... eight double-digit scoring performances including a career-high 18 against Villanova... five double-doubles this season... only freshman in the BIG EAST to rank in the top 10 in rebounding in all-games and in BIG EAST only games... ranks eighth in the league with 7.9 rpg... ranks seventh in BIG EAST only games with 8.3 rebounds per game... ranks No. 107 in the nation with 7.9 rebounds per game... third on the team with 32 blocks.
Block Party: DePaul averages 4.2 blocks per game and has swatted 125 shots this season... 125 blocks ties the 2008-09 output for the sixth most in a single season... averaged 4.8 blocks in BIG EAST games which ranked fourth in the league... only team in the BIG EAST to have three players ranked in the top 15 for blocks per game... Felicia Chester leads the trio with 39 blocks (1.3 bpg), followed by Keisha Hampton with 34 blocks (1.1 bpg) and Katherine Harry with 32 (1.1 bpg)... DePaul had a season-high eight blocks against Marquette on Jan. 31 and repeated that feat against Pittsburgh (Feb. 23)... has six or more blocks nine times this season.
Roll Call - Honor Roll: Four different Blue Demons were named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll... Deirdre Naughton was the first to earn the honor on Nov. 23... Sam Quigley followed with the next four appearances - Dec. 21, Dec. 28, Jan. 11 and Feb. 1... Katherine Harry joined Quigley on Feb. 1 and Anna Martin closed out the season with an honor roll week on March. 2,
Pink Zone: DePaul head coach Doug Bruno reached into his own pockets when DePaul played Villanova in its third annual "Pink Zone" game on Feb. 6, 2010. Coach Bruno pledged to donate $1 for every pink shirt in the crowd and with 2,008 fans sporting pink, Coach donated $2,008 to breast cancer research. In the last three Pink Zone games sponsored by DePaul, Coach Bruno has personally donated over $9,000 to breast cancer research. The Blue Demons defeated Villanova 64-60 this season.
Coaching on the same side, coaching separately: DePaul head coach Doug Bruno and Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma's coached on opposite benches for their conference tilt on Feb. 10, however; Bruno is Auriemma's assistant for Team USA. Auriemma, who was named the head coach for the 2010 Women's Basketball World Championship, brought Bruno on as his assistant in September of 2009.
Home Cookin': Through nine-plus seasons, McGrath Arena - formerly known as the DePaul Athletic Center - has proven itself as one of the toughest venues in the nation. The Blue Demons have posted a 118-21 (.849) record in the arena's 139 games. DePaul's .848 winning percentage entering the 2009-10 season ranks ninth among all active arenas and 11th all-time.
Beginning its 36th season of women's basketball at DePaul University, the Blue Demons have an all-time home court record of 382-105 (.784). Over 26 seasons at Alumni Hall, the women's basketball program won over 75 percent of its games with a 242-80 all-time record. At the Allstate Arena, the women's program has posted an all-time record of 22-4.
There have been 15 streaks of at least 10 straight home victories. The longest streak was the 33-game run that started on Dec. 19, 2003 with a 99-63 win over Alabama State and ended on Jan. 28, 2006 with an 84-75 defeat to #5/4 Connecticut. The Blue Demons' 11-game winning streak dating back to the 2006-07 season ended on Jan. 2, 2008 with the 102-68 loss to #3/3 Tennessee.
Over the last seven-plus years at McGrath Arena, the team is 96-14 at home with five losses to teams ranked in the top five. DePaul lost in overtime to #2/2 Tennessee on Dec. 17, 2003, before the Connecticut loss in Jan. 2006. Tennessee, ranked third in both polls, served DePaul its fifth defeat before the 77-76 loss to #1/1 Connecticut on Mar. 1, 2008. Maybe more impressive is that the Blue Demons' average margin of victory during that span that 20.1 points per game.
The Blue Demons have also posted 95 victories in the last 98 games over unranked opponents. West Virginia ended DePaul's 58-game streak over unranked opponents with a 74-63 decision on Jan. 9, 2007 before Pittsburgh and Louisville handed the Blue Demons defeats in 2007-08. During the 58-game streak, there were 54 victories at McGrath Arena and four wins at the Allstate Arena.
Marvelous Martin: Scored a career-high 31 points vs. Syracuse on Feb. 27... first DePaul rookie to break into the 30-point plateau since Debra Robinson drained 32 points against Lewis on Feb. 15, 1979... against Syracuse had a career-best five 3-pointers, the most by any DePaul player this season.
Martin Moments: Martin started 20 games for the Blue Demons... fourth on the team with 10.0 points per game... second the team with 37, 3-pointers... career-high 31 points at Green Bay... grabbed a team-best nine rebounds vs. Syracuse.. entered the starting lineup against Northern Illinois after Deirdre Naughton suffered a season-ending knee injury... had at least one steal in 13 of DePaul's 16 BIG EAST games.
Coach Doug Bruno Court: Beginning in the 2010-11 season, the Blue Demons will play their home games at McGrath Arena on Coach Doug Bruno Court. DePaul's Director of Athletics, Jean Lenti Ponsetto made the announcement on Nov. 16. The 2010-11 season will also mark Coach Bruno's 25th season at DePaul while he is also on track to record his 500th career win that season.
Against Ranked Opponents this season: DePaul has faced six nationally ranked opponents this season... 1-5 against ranked opponents this season... five of those five contests have been on the road or on a neutral court... played road games at then-No. 2 Stanford (Dec. 13), then-No. 22/17 West Virginia (Jan. 9), at then-No. 19/18 Georgetown (Jan. 23) and at No. 4/3 Notre Dame (Feb.14)... won against then-No. 10/6 Florida State (Dec. 20) at the Duel in the Desert Tournament in Las Vegas.
Taking Advantage from Beyond the Arc: Since the start of the 2005-06 season (161 games), the club has knocked down 1074 trifectas compared to just 808 for the opposition... with three 3-pointers against San Diego State at the NCAA Championship in San Diego, the team clinched the 10th straight year with at least 200 three-pointers... a 0-for-8 showing against Houston on Feb. 11, 2005, ended DePaul's streak with a three-pointer at 259 games... at the time, it was the nation's seventh-longest active streak... more recently, the Blue Demons 0-14 showing at Northern Illinois ended a 144 game streak with a 3-pointer, while they were 0-11 against Arkansas... including the Houston, Northern Illinois and Arkansas games, the Blue Demons have tallied a three-pointer in 426 of the last 429 games.
Injury Report - Naughton, Threatt & Pierson: Deirdre Naughton will miss the remainder of the 2009-10 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee. Naughton, who entered the Northwestern game averaging 17.5 points per game this season, injured her knee in the first half of No. 15/21 DePaul's 59-55 loss to the Wildcats on Nov. 24. "Deirdre Naughton has been the heart and soul of this basketball team," Blue Demons head coach Doug Bruno said. "To lose her for the season is a devastating blow to this team. Every team in the nation at one time or another has been forced to deal with the adversity of injuries. Losing Deirdre Naughton will test the metal of this year's ballclub and we do expect every member of our team to step up in her absence." Naughton, was named to the preseason Wade Watch and was a Naismith Trophy and John R. Wooden candidate prior to the 2009-10 season. A second team All-BIG EAST Conference selection and Associated Press All-American honorable mention as a junior, Naughton has scored 1,470 points in her career. She played her freshman season at Wake Forest in 2005-06 before transferring to DePaul.
China Threatt - last season's BIG EAST Sixth Man of the Year - and Rachel Pierson have been sidelined by injuries. Threatt suffered a career-ending knee injury while Pierson is out with a back injury.
LPTV: DePaul has partnered with LPTV and will play four games on that station. LPTV is one of Chicago's Public television stations and broadcasted DePaul's win over San Diego and UIC. The Blue Demons games with BIG EAST Conference foes, Connecticut and West Virginia will also be carried on LPTV. DePaul is 2-2 when playing on LPTV.
Regular Season Tournament History: DePaul is 71-26 all-time in regular season tournaments dating back to 1980-81 season... DePaul has played in 44 regular season tournaments and won 24... finished in second eight times... earlier this season won the Maggie Dixon Classic.
Duel in the Desert Recap: DePaul won its second tournament of the 2009-10 season with wins over Arkansas, No. 10/6 Florida State and host UNLV... Sam Quigley was named the tournament's MVP while Anna Martin earned all-tournament honors... the Blue Demons opened the tournament with a slim 46-45 victory over Arkansas... Maureen Mulchrone came off the bench to lead the Blue Demons with 11 points while Katherine Harry had 10 rebounds... DePaul defeated No. 10/6 Florida State 75-60 to reach the Championship game... DePaul trailed for just the 4:32 before taking the lead for good... led 37-29 at the half and led by as many at 19... overpowered UNLV 82-48 for the Championship... Harry led the floor with 18 rebounds and Martin had 18 points.
Maggie Dixon Recap: DePaul won the inaugural Maggie Dixon Classic in the Midwest with wins over Cornell and San Diego. Formally known as the DePaul Invitational, the Maggie Dixon Classic honors former Blue Demon assistant coach Maggie Dixon, who died on April 6, 2006 of an arrhythmia. Dixon's tragic death came three weeks after her first season as the head coach at Army which saw the Black Knights win the Patriot League Championship and make the program's first trip to the NCAA Championship. The Classic is the third tournament to be named after the former Blue Demon assistant and Army head coach. Jamie Dixon, the head coach at Pittsburgh hosts a tournament at Madison Square Garden, while San Diego, Dixon's alma mater also hosts a tournament in Dixon's name.
The Blue Demons defeated Cornell, 89-50 while the biggest story of the night was freshman Katherine Harry's 18 rebounds. Harry's 18 boards were the most by a Blue Demon player since Erin Carney grabbed 19 at Oklahoma. Deirdre Naughton scored 24 as the Blue Demons claimed the Championship with an 84-64 win over San Diego. Naughton earned MVP honors while Felicia Chester and Keisha Hampton were named to the All-Tournament team.
Streaking: Dating back to last season and in some cases, the last couple of seasons, the Blue Demons have put together various streaks. Listed below are some current active streaks heading into the 2009-10 season:
Against the State: DePaul has seen recent success against in-state opponents. Over the last 63 games against Chicago State, Illinois, Illinois-Chicago, Illinois State, Loyola-Chicago, Northern Illinois, Northwestern and Southern Illinois, the Blue Demons have posted 61 victories. DePaul's 36-game winning streak against programs from the state of Illinois came to an end when Northwestern defeated the Blue Demons 59-55 in Evanston on Nov. 24. Prior to the loss at Northwestern, the last loss to a state program was on Dec. 4, 2002, when Illinois defeated the Blue Demons in Champaign by a 71-67 score. During the 61-game stretch, two losses were at Illinois with the last home loss to an in-state program was on Nov. 20, 1998, against Northwestern. The Wildcats defeated the Blue Demons at Alumni Hall by a score of 62-61 and then most recently at Welsh-Ryan Arena in 2009.
Hitting the Century Mark: Senior Deirdre Naughton scored her 1,000th career point against North Dakota State on Nov. 15... became DePaul's 23rd 1,000 point scorer and first since Caprice Smith (2004-08) reached the century mark in 2008... she played her freshman season at Wake Forest and has 1,470 career points (1,051 at DePaul and 419 at Wake Forest).