DePaul Community Sends Women's Hoops Off to Sweet 16
March 27, 2014
CHICAGO – The Blue Demons are headed for Lincoln, Neb. Thursday morning riding a nine-game winning streak and surging into the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 after an enthusiastic send-off at the Sullivan Athletic Center from fellow student-athletes, coaches, administrators and fans.
There were smiles all around as the players walked through a human tunnel of cheering supporters that included DePaul President Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M.
No. 7 seed DePaul (29-6) will be making its third appearance in the Sweet 16 and its first since 2011 when coach Doug Bruno’s team takes on No. 3 seed Texas A&M (26-8) at 6 p.m. Saturday. The regional semifinal game will be televised on ESPN.
The Blue Demons are the only team in the state of Illinois -- men or women -- competing in the NCAA tournament. They are also the only BIG EAST Conference team left in the men’s and women’s NCAA tournament. They have won 18 of their last 19 games including last Monday’s 74-65 upset of No. 2 seed Duke on its home court.
Once again, the Blue Demon players and coaches soaked up the festive atmosphere that was amped up by the Screamin’ Demons Band and the DePaul spirit squad.
“All the support from DePaul athletics and the university community has been phenomenal,” Bruno said. “Father Dennis came to Duke with us and cheered us on.
“Athletics Director Jean Lenti Ponsetto and the entire department, fellow coaches, student-athletes and all the fans have been great. All season long, the spirit squad, Screamin’ Demons Band and Blue Crew have been right behind us generating so much enthusiasm.
“Having all these people come together to try and help us win one more game in a row means so much to our players.”
DePaul Athletics sent off the team in style last week and then celebrated after the BIG EAST Conference champion knocked off No. 10 seed Oklahoma and No. 2 seed Duke in the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament in Durham, N.C.
The Blue Demons have tied the program record for most wins in a season, matching the mark set by the 2010-11 team that defeated Navy and Penn State on Penn State’s home court in the NCAA tournament’s opening rounds.