Big Test for No. 23 DePaul in NCAA Tournament
March 17, 2018
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - In the midst of this March Madness season, three words are on the minds of every college basketball coach and player.
Survive and advance.
After a successful NCAA tournament opener on Friday, No. 23 DePaul (27-7) confronts No. 14/14 Texas A&M (25-9) at 1 p.m. Sunday in the second round. The matchup on the Aggies home court Reed Arena will be televised by ESPN2.
The No. 5 seed Blue Demons are 2-2 all-time against Texas A&M. Their only previous appearance in Reed Arena was Dec. 12, 2015 when they upset the No. 15/16 Aggies 80-66.
A pair of double-doubles led the way with Megan Podkowa putting up 20 points and 18 rebounds while Jessica January finished with 11 points and 13 assists. Chanise Jenkins scored 15 points and Jacqui Grant had 13.
Texas A&M topped DePaul 76-68 at the Maggie Dixon Classic on Nov. 14, 2014 in Lincoln Park and prevailed 84-65 in the NCAA tournament March 29, 2014 in Lincoln, Neb. The Blue Demons won their initial meeting 84-71 on Nov. 26, 2005 at the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic in Honolulu.
DePaul, ranked No. 23 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, enters Reed Arena on Sunday with five players averaging in double figures---Mart'e Grays (14.4), Ashton Millender (13.7), Amarah Coleman (12.5), Chante Stonewall (10.6) and Kelly Campbell (10.6). The Blue Demons have won seven-straight and 13 of their last 14.
Coach Doug Bruno's team has finished in double figures from three-point range an impressive 26 times in 34 games this season and have set an all-time program record with 410 threes. The most accurate from beyond the arc have been Millender (.420 shooting percentage), Stonewall (.385), Grays (.373), Campbell (.360) and Lauren Prochaska (.352).
Campbell has been on a rebounding binge with 237 in her last 23 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.
Coleman is averaging 19 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists and only 1.3 turnovers in her last three games. Millender is averaging 15.6 over her last 10 while Grays is scoring nearly 15 a game in the last 14 games.
Stonewall is at 11.8 points and 8.6 rebounds in her last five outings and Campbell is averaging 10.2 points, 9.2 rebounds and 5.6 assists over the last 13 games.
The Blue Demons lead the country in three-point baskets, three-pointers per game and three-point attempts. They are No. 3 in assists, No. 4 in assists per game, No. 6 in scoring offense, No. 8 in assist-turnover ratio and No. 21 in rebounds.
Campbell is No. 3 in the nation in assist-turnover ratio, No. 19 in assists and No. 26 in assists per game. Millender is No. 16 in three-pointers. Lauren Prochaska is No. 27 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.
No. 4 seed Texas A&M is coming off an 89-76 victory over Drake on Friday as National Freshman of the Year Chennedy Carter had 26 points, 11 assists and six steals. The Aggies' 6-5 Khaalia Hillsman scored 22 points, three-point threat Danni Williams had 18 and 5-11 Anriel Howard finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
On the season, point guard Carter is averaging 22 points and nearly five assists per game while Hillsman and Williams are at 14 .6 points a game with Williams shooting at a .394 clip from behind the arc. Howard is averaging 11.5 points and 11.9 rebounds.
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