No. 23 DePaul Faces Oklahoma in NCAA Opener
March 15, 2018
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Get ready for a good old-fashioned Texas shootout when the high-powered offenses of No. 5 seed DePaul and No. 12 Oklahoma lock horns in the NCAA tournament first round at 11:30 a.m. Friday in College Station.
The last two times these high-scoring teams have met, they have combined to score a total of 423 points.
The most recent encounter was Nov. 13, 2017 in the Blue Demons’ second game of the season. They went racing up and down the McGrath-Phillips Arena floor as both teams finished with six players scoring in double figures.
The see-saw showdown was finally decided in overtime when Amarah Coleman hit a game-winning, buzzer-beating three-pointer for DePaul’s 111-108 victory. Many on hand walked away hailing those 45 minutes as the most entertaining game they had ever seen.
The only time the Blue Demons and Sooners have met in the NCAA tournament, history was made. It was March 22, 2014 at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C. This time, DePaul’s six players in double figures were enough to overcome five Oklahoma players in double figures led by Aaryn Ellenberg’s 36 points in a 104-100 victory.
It was the highest-scoring game in the history of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.
DePaul (26-7), ranked No. 23 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, enters Reed Arena on Friday with five players averaging in double figures---Mart’e Grays (14.4), Ashton Millender (13.6), Amarah Coleman (12.4), Chante Stonewall (10.6) and Kelly Campbell (10.5). The Blue Demons have won six-straight and 12 of their last 13.
Coach Doug Bruno’s team has finished in double figures from three-point range an impressive 25 times in 33 games this season. The most accurate from beyond the arc have been Millender (.422 shooting percentage), Stonewall (.394), Grays (.365), Lauren Prochaska (.352) and Campbell (.349).
Campbell has been on a rebounding binge with 231 in her last 22 games and has 10 or more rebounds in 14 games overall. She leads the team in that category along with assists, steals and free throw percentage.
The Blue Demons lead the country in three-pointers per game, are second in three-point attempts and are three-point field goals. They are No. 3 in assists, No. 4 in assists per game, No. 6 in scoring offense No. 8 in and assist-turnover ratio.
Campbell is No. 2 in nation in assist-turnover ratio, No. 19 in assists and No. 23 in assists per game. Millender is No. 25 in three-pointers. Lauren Prochaska is No. 29 in assist-turnover ratio.
The Blue Demons won their fifth-straight BIG EAST regular-season title and followed up with their third BIG EAST Tournament championship in the last five years. They defeated Marquette 98-63 and set tournament records for most three-pointers and most three-point attempts.
In a 78-52 BIG EAST quarterfinal win over Seton Hall, DePaul set a BIG EAST Tournament single-game record with 44 three-point attempts, surpassing the 34 by Connecticut in March of 1993.
Oklahoma is among six elite programs that have competed in the last 16 NCAA tournaments along with Connecticut, Notre Dame, Stanford, Tennessee and DePaul.
The Sooners are led by 6-4 Vionise Pierre-Louis who is averaging 15.7 points and nearly nine rebounds a game. Shaina Pellington is scoring at 13.1 clip, Maddie Manning 12.8, Ana Llanusa 12.6 and Gabbi Ortiz 12.2. Oklahoma is 16-14 overall and went 11-7 in the rugged Big 12 Conference. The Sooners are averaging nearly 76 points a game and have won four of their last six.
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