Blue Demons Roll in First Exhibition Game
CHICAGO - The DePaul women's basketball team opened the exhibition portion of its schedule with an impressive 111-69 victory over Saint Xavier on Tuesday at McGrath Arena. The exhibition was the first of two for the Blue Demons this week.
In Tuesday's lopsided victory, six Blue Demon players finished in double-digits while senior Deirdre Naughton led the way with 23 points. The senior also recorded a team-best nine rebounds and five assists.
Coming off the bench, sophomore Courtney Webb finished with 15 points while freshmen Anna Martin and Katherine Harry followed with 13 and 11 points, respectively. Junior starters Felicia Chester and Sam Quigley each finished with 12 points. The Blue Demon bench outscored Saint Xavier 49-21.
The Blue Demons shot 54.9 percent from the field for the game; however DePaul was just 1-for-6 in the opening minutes as Saint Xavier jumped out to an early 7-4 advantage. With the Blue Demons trying to find their offensive rhythm, DePaul's tenacious defense forced four early turnovers and kept the Cougars at bay.
Martin made her presence felt early as she drained back-to-back 3-pointers to give DePaul a 12-7 advantage. Martin's first trifecta gave the Blue Demons their first lead since Keisha Hampton drained a jumper inside the paint to begin the game.
Saint Xavier tied the game at 16 on Kathlyn McClain's 3-pointer from the right side with 12:40 left to play in the half. McClain led the Cougars with 20 points and finished the contest 3-for-4 from behind the arc.
With the score tied at 16, the Blue Demons quickly found their offensive rhythm and continued to play tough defense for the remaining eight minutes of the half. Despite DePaul's slow start the Blue Demons closed out the half on a 34-16 run and went to the locker room with a 50-32 advantage. The Blue Demons shot 53 percent from the field in the half.
The Blue Demons sustained their momentum and added to their lead in the second half. Martin drained a pair of free throws with 16:06 left to give DePaul its first 20 point advantage.
Eight minutes later DePaul's lead had ballooned to 87-47 on Webb's 3-pointer from the top of the arc with 8:38 left in the contest.
Deanna Ortiz joined the offensive party and gave DePaul its 100th point of the contest with a jumper, just outside the paint with 3:31 left in the context.
The Blue Demons play their final exhibition game on Friday against Illinois Wesleyan. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. and the men's exhibition game with University of Chicago will follow at 7:30 p.m.