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Blue Demons Savor Sweet 16 Sendoff
Keisha Hampton talks about going home to Philadelphia and competing in the NCAA Sweet 16.

Keisha Hampton talks about going home to Philadelphia and competing in the NCAA Sweet 16.

March 25, 2011

Bluetube - Interviews and Team Sendoff

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CHICAGO - More than 200 students, fans, staff and faculty all decked out in blue assembled at the Sullivan Athletic Center Friday morning for a rousing sendoff as the DePaul women's basketball team headed to Philadelphia for the NCAA Sweet 16.

Despite unseasonably low temperatures outside, the warm pride indoors was enough to heat up the entire Lincoln Park campus.

Prominent among the gathering of Blue Demon faithful was DePaul President Father Dennis H. Holtschneider, dressed in blue and expressing his support.

"Oh my God, I think I have a few more gray hairs from that game," Father Holtschneider said of last Sunday's 75-73 victory over Penn State. "This is a huge point of pride for DePaul University, and these young women have worked their hearts out this season to make the Sweet 16 and to possibly go even further."

No. 3-seeded DePaul (29-6) will take on No. 2-seeded Duke (31-3) in the Philadelphia regional at 1:30 p.m. Sunday in an ESPN2 telecast of uptempo attacks.

Led by junior forward Keisha Hampton's 26 points, the Blue Demons overcame a 14-point deficit last Sunday at Penn State.

"Our players' mental toughness and resiliency against Penn State on the road was huge," said DePaul coach Doug Bruno "Keisha put us on her back in the second half offensively, and so did Felicia Chester."

Hampton, a finalist for the State Farm All-American team along with teammate Sam Quigley, is making a triumphant return home to Philadelphia and is excited to play in front of family and friends.

This is DePaul's second Sweet 16 appearance and first since 2006. The Blue Demons have already set a program best in wins.

No. 5-seeded Georgetown and No. 1-seeded Connecticut tangle in the other regional semifinal.