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Blue Demons Meet the Media, Prepare for Vanderbilt on Sunday

CINCINNATI - The DePaul women's basketball team traveled just over 300 miles to Cincinnati for its 15th NCAA Championship appearance since 1990.  The Blue Demons received a No. 11 seed and are scheduled to face sixth seeded Vanderbilt from the SEC on Sunday, March 21 at 12:11 (EST) at Xavier's Cintas Center. The game will be carried live on ESPN2 with Stephanie White and Bob Wischusen calling the action.

The Blue Demons are making a program-best eighth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and are just one of 13 programs to accomplish that feat. Vanderbilt is also on the list of eight straight appearances with the Commodores making the field of 64 the last 11 years.   DePaul is the No.  11 seed for the third time, earning an 11 seed in 1992 and 1993.  The Blue Demons are a 1-2 when they are an 11 seed, knocking off sixth seeded Arizona State in 1992, 67-65 in Chicago. 

Entering Sunday's first round game, DePaul (21-11) has won five of its last six games.  The Blue Demons lone loss during the six game span was to then-No. 7/10 West Virginia in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Championship on March 7.  Prior to the loss DePaul put together an amazing five-game winning streak, winning two games on the road and its opening round of the BIG EAST Championship against Marquette on March 6. 

Heading into the NCAA Championship, the Blue Demons are 3-1 when playing on a neutral floor.  One of DePaul's signature wins came over then-No. 10/6 Florida State on a neutral floor on Dec. 20, 2009 -- the Blue Demons topped the Seminoles, 75-60 at UNLV's Cox Pavilion. 

DePaul is led by second-team All-BIG EAST performers  in sophomore Keisha Hampton and junior Sam Quigley.  Hampton leads the Blue Demons with 13.8 points per game while Quigley averages 13.1 points and 5.2 assists per game.  A finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award, Quigley averages a BIG EAST-best 38.4 minutes per game and has dished out 167 assists, while she has a team-high 61 steals. All-BIG EAST freshman performer Katherine Harry leads DePaul with 7.9 rebounds per game and Felicia Chester follows with 6.9 boards.

Marching Along: DePaul is making its eighth consecutive and the program's 15th NCAA Championship appearance in 2010...  Blue Demons were one of seven BIG EAST programs in the field of 64... the conference led all leagues along with the SEC with teams earning bids... the program is 7-14 (.333) all-time in NCAA Championship play...DePaul is one of 13 teams to appear in each of the last eight tournaments... joining the Blue Demons on the list of 13 teams with eight straight NCAA's are Connecticut, Duke, Georgia, LSU, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Rutgers, Stanford, Tennessee and Vanderbilt... the eight 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.

Noting the Blue Demons: DePaul is 654-384 (.630) all-time... the 2009-10 campaign is the 36th season of women's basketball at DePaul University... since the start of the 2003-04 season (224 games), the Blue Demons have held 63.4 percent of their opponents to less than 70 points (142-of-224)... in that span, DePaul is 120-22 (.845) when holding opponents to less than 70 points... DePaul has held 23 of its 32 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 (194 games), the Blue Demons are 136-58 (.701)... in the last 61 home games against conference opponents, DePaul has posted 49 victories... over the last nine-plus seasons (317 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.

Sizing Up Vanderbilt:  Making its 11th consecutive NCAA Championship Tournament appearance... 23rd NCAA Tournament appearance overall... finished in a four-way tie for third place in the SEC... key wins over Georgia (66-44 on Jan. 14) and Kentucky (68-55 on Feb. 14) ... shooting .454 from the field, only three of Vanderbilt's rostered players are shooting less than .400 from the field... Hannah Tuomi leads the team with a .582 field goal percentage... Merideth Marsh averages a team-best 14.9 point per game and Jence Rhoads chips in 13.5 ppg... Jordan Coleman averages a team-best 6.4 rebounds per game while Tiffany Clarke and Tuomi both average over five boards per game...   Melanie Balcomb is in her eighth season at the helm of the Vanderbilt program... boasts a 195-71 record at Vandy with eight straight NCAA Tournament appearances including four Sweet Sixteen appearances

DePaul/Vanderbilt Series:  This is the first postseason meeting between DePaul and Vanderbilt... the smallest margin of victory was a seven points in Vanderbilt's 71-64 win in the first-ever match up... the Commodores average margin of victory against the Blue Demons is 23.5 points, while DePaul has defeated Vanderbilt by an average of 18.5 points... both squads enter the tournament receiving votes on both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls.

It could happen: The game is No. 1039 in DePaul women's basketball history... Quigley could start her 69th consecutive game, the longest active streak on the team... with one assist, Quigley has dished out an assist in her last 64 games... a win would be DePaul's first second round appearance since the 2006 season - the season DePaul reached the San Antonio Regional Semifinal...  Quigley needs  two assists to tie Jenni Dant (2001-05) for sixth place in DePaul's career-assist leader board, needs 13 to tie Sally Anderson (1984-87) with 356.

All-Conference Performers: Sam Quigley and Keisha Hampton earned second-team all-BIG EAST honors this season... Quigley averaged a league-best 39.9 minutes in conference play, ranked second with 5.8 assists per game and averaged 13.8 points per outing... Hampton led DePaul with 15.3 points in action while the sophomore ranked sixth with 1.4 blocks per game and  1.8 steals per game...  Quigley and Hampton become the 10th and 11th DePaul student-athletes to earn postseason BIG EAST honors since DePaul joined the BIG EAST in 2005-06... Katherine Harry became the second Blue Demon freshman to earn all-freshman team, she follows Keisha Hampton who was DePaul's first in 2008-09.

BIG EAST Championship Recap:  Entered the BIG EAST Championship as the No. 7 seed and received a first round bye after finishing tied for sixth place with Rutgers...  topped 10th-seeded Marquette  64-54 in the second round...  lost to No. 7/9 West Virginia 47-41 in the second round... Sam Qugiley led DePaul with 13.0 points per game while Anna Martin averaged 12.0 and Katherin Harry added 10.6 ppg... DePaul is 5-5 in BIG EAST Championship games with all five of its wins coming in DePaul's opening round game.

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 20 games this season. Quigley averages a BIG EAST Conference best 38.4 minutes per game this season, boasts a 1.5 assist to turnover ratio and leads the Blue Demons with 61 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 topping 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 boasted a 2.5 assist to turnover ratio in those four games.

Charity Stripe Success: If the season were to end today, DePaul's .764 (386-505) would be a program single-season best... On March 14, DePaul's free throw percentage ranked the 10th country and was the best in the BIG EAST... Sam Quigley ranked 52nd in the nation and leads the Blue Demons with a .827 (115-for-139) free throw percentage... Quigley's free throw percentage ranks third 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 20 games this season... nine Blue Demons have recorded a 1.000 free throw percentage (min. 2 attempts) 44 times this season... Quigley has 12 perfect efforts while Hampton has nine while Felicia Chester and Jennifer Juergens each have seven perfect games.

Nice Pass:  On March 14, Sam Quigley ranked 28th in the country with 5.2 assists per game... 5.2 assists per game ranks second in the BIG EAST... Quigley ranks No. 123 in the country in assist to turnover ratio... the junior leads the Blue Demons with 167 assists while she has turned over the ball just 123 times for a 1.36 assist to turnover ratio... 167 assists is the fourth most in a single season... needs 19 assists to tie Tammy Williams for third... Quigley has led the Blue Demons in assists 25 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 61 games.

Balanced Attack:  DePaul has three players averaging double-digits... Keisha Hampton leads the trio with 13.8 ppg, Sam Quigley follows with 13.1, while Anna Martin averages 10.1...  nine different players have reached double-figures this season a total of 103 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 38.4 minutes per game... Quigley has played 16 complete games this season and 19 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 19 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, Pittsburgh, Syracuse , Marquette (March 6) and West Virginia... played five consecutive 40 minute games before getting a minute break against Villanova... played 1228 of a possible 1335 minutes this season.

Block Party:  DePaul averages 4.1 blocks per game and has swatted 132 shots this season...  132 blocks ranks sixth all-time... 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 42 blocks (1.3 bpg), followed by Katherine Harry with 35 (1.1 bpg ) and Keisha Hampton with 34 blocks (1.1 bpg) and)... DePaul had a season-high eight blocks against Marquette on Jan. 31 and repeated that feat against Pittsburgh (Feb. 23)... has five or more blocks in 13 games this season.

Hampton down the stretch - Feb. 14-March 1:  Sophomore Keisha Hampton averaged 20.4 points in DePaul's last five regular season 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 Pittsburgh (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 regular season games the sophomore 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... earned All-Freshman team honors... 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... 11 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 seventh in the league with 7.9 rpg... ranked seventh in BIG EAST only games with 8.3 rebounds per game... ranks No. 114 in the nation with 7.9 rebounds per game... second on the team with 35 blocks.

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.

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,

Martin Moments:  Martin started 22 games for the Blue Demons... third on the team with 10.1 points per game... leads the Blue Demons with 41, 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.• 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.

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 seven nationally ranked opponents this season... 1-6 against ranked opponents this season...  six of those seven 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 (162 games), the club has knocked down 1081 trifectas compared to just 815 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 428 of the last 431 games.

Injury Report - Pikes, Naughton, Threatt & Pierson: Taylor Pikes  suffered a high ankle sprain on March 17.  The sophomore, who has played in 25 games, averages 2.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game will not play in the NCAA First and Second round games this weekend in Cincinnati. 

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.

Looking at the RPI: DePaul has a RPI of 31 in the NCAA RPI rankings that were released on March 14... UConn (1), Notre Dame (7), West Virginia (10) Georgetown (18), St. John's (20) and Rutgers (24) are ahead of DePaul in the NCAA RPI... the Blue Demons have a RPI of No. 23 according to UConn (1), Notre Dame (6), West Virginia (10), Georgetown (13) and St. John's (18) are ranked ahead of DePaul in that poll... DePaul is No. 29 in UConn (1), Notre Dame (7), West Virginia (10), Georgetown (18) and St. John's (21) and Rutgers (24) are all ranked before DePaul.

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:
- 56 straight victories over unranked non-conference opponents at home
- 10 seasons in-a-row with at least 200 three-pointers
- Eight consecutive NCAA Championship appearances

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).

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.