DePaul Will Open Against Princeton in Cancun Challenge
May 17, 2018

CHICAGO – The pairings have been announced for the 2018 Cancun Challenge and DePaul will open up against Princeton on Thanksgiving Day.

The Blue Demons are competing in the Mayan Tournament and will follow up a day later against Kansas State. They will conclude the Challenge with a showdown against Syracuse on Saturday, Nov. 24.

DePaul was ranked No. 14 in the ESPN early rankings for 2018-19 and Syracuse was ranked No. 23.

Coach Doug Bruno’s program returns five of its top six scorers from last season’s 27-8 team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament Second Round. It was the 16th consecutive NCAA appearance for the Blue Demons, putting them in the select company of Connecticut, Notre Dame, Stanford, Tennessee and Oklahoma.

DePaul’s fast-paced attack led the nation last season in three-pointers per game and was second in three-point field goals and three-point attempts. The Blue Demons were No. 4 in the country in assists and assists per game, No. 5 in assist-turnover ratio and No. 6 in scoring offense.

Heading the returnees are All-BIG EAST First Team selections Mart’e Grays (14.4 points per game) and Kelly Campbell (10.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and nearly six assists per game. She averaged a double-double (10.3 points, 10.3 rebounds) in BIG EAST play. Campbell was No. 2 in the country in assist-turnover ratio and No. 18 in assists.

Ashton Millender contributed 13.6 points a game and was No. 16 in the nation in three-point field goals. Chante Stonewall averaged 10.7 points and led the team in blocked shots. Tanita Allen scored 9.3 points a game.


 

 

Here’s a rundown on the teams DePaul will face in Cancun.

Princeton
24-6 (12-2 Ivy League)
Lost to Maryland in NCAA Tournament First Round.
The Tigers cast quite the shadow over the Ivy League. Coach Courtney Banghart (2015 Naismith Coach of the Year) has led Princeton to the NCAA Tournament seven of the last nine years---once as an at-large team. The Tigers are a handful defensively, holding teams to 55 points per game last year and 29 percent from three-point range. Junior Bella Alarie was the Ivy League Player of the Year averaging 13.3 points and 9.4 rebounds a game. Sophomore Abby Meyers averaged 9.4 points in 17 minutes per game last season and looks ready to be a factor offensively.

Kansas State
18-16 (7-11 Big 12)
Lost to UC Davis in Postseason WNIT Third Round Three.
The Wildcats welcome back senior Kayla Goth, who was the first player in program history to score more than 500 points and register more than 200 assists in a season---only nine players in D-I hit that threshold last season. Junior Peyton Williams came through down low all year (14.7 points, 7.1 rebounds per game) while and sophomore Rachel Ranke started 27 games and averaged 11.5 points a game. Coach Jeff Mittie is entering his fifth year at KSU. Christianna Carr, daughter of assistant coach Chris Carr, is an incoming freshman from Manhattan, Kan. that was ranked No. 22 overall by ESPN Hoopgurlz.

Syracuse
22-9 (10-6 ACC)
Lost to Oklahoma State in NCAA Tournament First Round.
The Orange get it done with an international roster featuring players from Latvia, France, Australia and Canada along with three from Illinois. All four of the team’s double-digit scorers are back for 2018-19 led Tiana Mangakahia (17.5 points per game). She was the No. 1-ranked junior college guard before coming to the program. St. Bonaventure transfer Miranda Drummond averaged 15 points per game and shot 40 percent from three-point range. In 2016, coach Quentin Hillsman’s team won 30 games and played in the NCAA championship game.

Cancun Challenge
Mayan Tournament
Thursday, Nov. 22
(All Times Central Time)
DePaul vs. Princeton, 11 a.m.
Syracuse vs. Kansas State, 1:30 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 23
Kansas State vs. DePaul, 11 a.m.
Princeton vs. Syracuse, 1:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 24
Kansas State vs. Princeton, 11 a.m.
DePaul vs. Syracuse, 1:30 p.m.

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