Blue Demons Open Season With 38-Point Victory
CHICAGO – The nation’s highest scoring team from a year ago picked up right where they left off in a 96-58 victory on Friday night in the Moran Realty Classic. DePaul faces Southern California in the championship game on Saturday at the DePaul Athletic Center.
DePaul (1-0) jumped out to a 16-2 lead on two free throws by Jenni Dant and two lay-ups by Khara Smith in the first five minutes of the game. Another Smith short jumper pushed the advantage 36-10 with just under eight minutes left in the first period.
Dant’s breakaway lay-up at the buzzer ended the first half with the Blue Demons leading, 56-27. DePaul shot a sizzling .523 in the first half while scoring 25 points off 15 Lady Racer turnovers. The Smith cousins, Charlene and Khara, combined for 29 points to lead DePaul.
Jarietta Benton hit a jumper with 11 minutes left that upped the lead to 40 points at 78-38. Benton finished the night with a career-high 12 points.
Over a three-minute stretch, Allie Quigley scored 10 of the 12 Blue Demon points, which ended with DePaul leading, 94-48, with less than four minutes left in the game.
Charlene Smith led DePaul with 20 points in 20 minutes of action on 9-of-11 shooting from the field. She surpassed the 1,000-point mark in her collegiate career with her 12th point of the game in the first half. She needs 80 more points to join DePaul’s 1,000-point club as she scored 89 during her freshman season at UW-Milwaukee.
Khara Smith added 16 points (8-of-9) and 10 rebounds for her 32nd career double-double. Benton, Quigley and Jenna Rubino added 12 points each and Dant finished with nine points. Rubino added career high’s of nine rebounds, five assists and four steals.
Rebecca Remington led Murray State (0-1) with a game-high 22 points to go with five rebounds and four steals.
The victory was the 10th straight for DePaul on their home floor dating back to last season. It is the 13th streak in school history of at least 10 consecutive home victories. The Blue Demons have also won four straight season-openers.
DePaul takes on USC in the championship game on Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. The Women of Troy held off UMass in the first game on Friday, 54-49. Murray State and the Minutewomen play the consolation game at 5:30 p.m.