Blue Demons Head South to Missouri State
#17/21 DePaul (4-1) at Missouri State (2-3)
Game Notes: DePaul | Opponent Information: Missouri State
CHICAGO - DePaul closes the two-game road trip at Missouri State on Sunday afternoon. The Blue Demons opened the week with a dramatic 71-70 win at UW-Green Bay. Caprice Smith’s jumper with a second left pushed DePaul to the victory after leading by as many as 15 points in the second half.
The Blue Demons enter the game at 4-1 with four straight wins. DePaul stands at 17th in this week’s AP poll and No. 21 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Top 25.
Following Sunday’s action, DePaul opens BIG EAST play with a home game against Rutgers. The team returns to non-conference action on Dec. 13 with a game against Northwestern.
Noting the Blue Demons: In the three of the four wins, opponents have scored less than 70 points... since the start of the 2003-04 season (100 games), the Blue Demons have held 69 percent of their opponents to less than 70 points (69-of-100)... in that span, DePaul is 63-6 (.913) when holding opponents to less than 70 points... four players have scored in double-figures in three of the five games this season... DePaul has knocked down at least 10 three-pointers in a game on two occasions... the 2005-06 squad combined for at least 10 three’s in three games... the Blue Demons have been ranked in each of the last 58 ESPN/USA Today polls and the last 41 AP top 25’s... in the last two-plus seasons, the Blue Demons are 57-13 (.814)... DePaul is one of 19 programs that have reached postseason play in at least 15 of the last 18 seasons... they are also one of 14 teams to reach at least the second round in each of the last three NCAA Championships... joining the Blue Demons on the list of 14 second-round regulars are Baylor, Boston College, Connecticut, Duke, Georgia, LSU, Maryland, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue, Stanford, Tennessee and Vanderbilt... the 2005-06 season was the first year that DePaul didn’t score 100 points in a game since the 1999-00 season... the Blue Demons have won seven consecutive regular-season tournaments... over the last six-plus seasons (193 games), DePaul has scored at least 80 points in 70 games... the Blue Demons hold a 67-3 record in those games... in the 33rd season of play at DePaul, the women’s basketball program is 575-339.
Opponent 6 - Missouri State Lady Bears: Missouri State enters the game 2-3 record having won two straight after starting the season with three consecutive losses. On Wednesday, the Lady Bears kncoked off Portland State, 82-69. Tahnee Balerio leads the team with 17.2 points and 10 three-pointers while Tiff Terwelp adds 13.4 points and a team-high 12.8 rebounds per contest. Missouri State was picked to finish in a tie for seventh in the Missouri Valley Conference preseason poll. Head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson is in her fifth season with the Lady Bears and holds a 90-43 record in Springfield.
The Series - DePaul leads 1-0: Sunday is just the second meeting between the two programs with Blue Demons taking the initial game last season in Chicago. Khara Smith scored 25 points to lead DePaul to an 84-74 win over the Lady Bears. Caprice Smith added 15 points while Jenna Rubino scored 13 and Allie Quigley totaled 10 points. All-time against Missouri Valley teams, the Blue Demons are 28-10 with the Lady Bears serving as the second Missouri Valley opponent this season. DePaul knocked off Illinois State, 90-64, on Nov. 18 to win the DePaul Invitational.
It Could Happen: A win would be No. 380 for Doug Bruno at DePaul... the game will be the 101st of Jenna Rubino’s career putting her in a tie for 30th all-time... four three-pointers by Allie Quigley moves her into seventh all-time... a win would make DePaul 2-0 against Missouri Valley teams this season.
Demon Doings: Notes following the 71-70 win at UW-Green Bay on Wednesday night:
Against the State: DePaul has seen recent success against opponents from the state of Illinois. Over the last 34 games against Illinois, Illinois-Chicago, Illinois State, Loyola-Chicago, Northern Illinois, Northwestern and Southern Illinois, the Blue Demons have posted 33 victories. The Huskies represent the second of six in-state opponents this season. DePaul knocked off Illinois State to win the DePaul Invitational and host Northwestern on Dec. 13. The Northwestern game is followed by a Dec. 17 date at Illinois-Chicago, a Dec. 20 game against Loyola-Chicago in Puerto Rico and a Dec. 30 contest at Chicago State.
DePaul has won 40 of the last 42 games against state opponents and currently holds a 19-game winning streak against Illinois schools. The last loss to a state program was on Dec. 4, 2002, as Illinois defeated the Blue Demons in Champaign by a 71-67 score.
Seven Tourney Titles: DePaul has totaled seven straight regular-season tournament titles starting with the 2002 Moran Realty Classic. A year ago, the Blue Demons claimed the DePaul Invitational and Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic. DePaul also claimed the Moran Realty Classic (hosted by DePaul) in 2003 and 2004 and also earned championship hardware at Dartmouth’s Blue Sky Restaurant Classic in 2004. The most recent tourney championship was the 2006 DePaul Invitational with wins over Yale and Illinois State at McGrath Arena.
DePaul Invitational Recap: The Blue Demons knocked off Yale and Illinois State to claim the 2006 DePaul Invitational. On Friday night, DePaul opened up a 35-34 halftime lead with a 51-point second half against Yale. China Threatt came off the bench for a game-high 18 points to lead four players in double-figures as the Blue Demons defeated the Bulldogs, 86-60. The Blue Demons claimed the championship on the following evening with a 90-64 win over Illinois State. Allie Quigley dropped in 26 points along with eight assists as DePaul combined to shoot .529 from the field. Quigley was named the tourney MVP and was joined on the All-Tournament team by Caprice Smith and Threatt.
Sweet in the Classroom and on the Court: In addition to making the program’s first NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2005-06, the Blue Demons also accumulated the nation’s 11th-highest team grade-point average. DePaul’s team GPA of 3.361 placed them 11th in the country and was tops among the BIG EAST’s 16 women’s basketball programs. The No. 11 slot was the highest in program history, surpassing a No. 13 ranking for the 2000-01 season and No. 20 spot following the 1998-99 campaign. DePaul was the lone Sweet Sixteen program both on and off the court.
Streaking: Dating back to last season and in some cases, the last couple of seasons, the Blue Demons have put together various streaks. Listed below are some current active streaks heading into Sunday’s game at Missouri State:
BIG EAST Preseason Picks: The league’s 16 coaches slated the Blue Demons at No. 3 in the BIG EAST preseason poll. DePaul was picked to finish fourth prior to the start of last season and took the No. 3 seed in the BIG EAST Championship with an 11-5 league record. Connecticut was selected as the favorite in 2006-07 with 11 first-place votes followed by Rutgers and DePaul. Junior guard Allie Quigley was one of 11 players named to the All-BIG EAST preseason team. USF’s Jessica Dickson was named the Preseason Player of the Year.
Home Cookin’: In six-plus seasons, the DePaul Athletic Center, now named McGrath Arena, has proven itself as one of the toughest venues in the nation. The Blue Demons have posted a 77-9 record in the arena’s first 86 games. Now in the 33rd season, the Blue Demons have an all-time home court record of 341-93 (.786). Over 26 seasons at Alumni Hall, the women’s basketball program won over 75 percent of their games with a 242-80 all-time record. At the Allstate Arena, the women’s program has posted an all-time record of 22-4.
In 30-plus seasons of women’s basketball at DePaul University there have been 13 streaks of at least 10 straight home victories. The longest streak was the 33-game run that started on Dec. 19, 2003 with a 99-63 win over Alabama State and ended on Jan. 28, 2006 with an 84-75 defeat to then-No. 5/4 Connecticut. The victory over Houston on Feb. 11, 2005, broke the former record of 20 games from Feb. 4, 1978-Feb. 19, 1979.
Over the last four-plus years, the team is 60-2 at home with the two losses to a pair of teams ranked in the top five. DePaul lost in overtime to then-No. 2 Tennessee on Dec. 17, 2003, before the Connecticut loss last season. Maybe more impressive is that the Blue Demons average margin of victory during that span is 23.6 points per game.
The Blue Demons have also posted 57 straight home victories over unranked opponents. During the 57-game streak over unranked opponents, there have been 53 victories at McGrath Arena and four wins at the Allstate Arena. Tulane handed DePaul their last home loss to an unranked team on Mar. 2, 2002, with a 88-83 decision in the quarterfinals of the C-USA Tournament.
1K Club: Allie Quigley became the newest member of DePaul’s 1,000-career point club against Northern Illinois on Nov. 25. She enters the Missouri State game with 1,032 points to rank 17th all-time. Jenna Rubino is set to become the 21st player with 1,000 points as she has 964 points in 100 career games. The duo also ranks among the top five fastest players in DePaul history to reach 100 career three-pointers. Quigley hit her 100th career three-pointer in her 44th career game to rank third while Rubino knocked down her 100th three in the 80th game to rank as the fifth-fastest player to 100 trifectas. Following Quigley and Rubino, the next Blue Demon on the 1,000-point horizon is junior Caprice Smith with 566 career points.
New Name, Same Gym: In July, the DePaul Athletic Center was renamed the Sullivan Athletic Center while the gymnasium was christened McGrath Arena. The Sullivan Athletic Center was named after former DePaul athletics director Gene Sullivan. McGrath Arena takes its name from Frank McGrath, legendary DePaul assistant men’s basketball coach and administrator.
Taking Advantage From Beyond the Arc: Since the start of the 2003-04 season, the club has knocked down 709 trifectas compared to just 415 for the opposition. Over the last seven years, the team has totaled at least 200 three-pointers in each season. With a 0-for-8 showing against Houston on Feb. 11, 2005, DePaul’s streak of games with a three-pointer ended at 259 games. At the time, it was the nation’s seventh-longest active streak.
In five games this season, the Blue Demons have outscored their opponents by 51 points from three-point range (10.2 ppg). DePaul is 47-130 (.362) from behind the arc while opponents are a combined 30-86 (.349). The squad averages 9.4 three’s per game while the opposition makes 6.0 treys per contest.
At Oklahoma in the State Farm Tip-Off Classic, the Blue Demons used the experimental three-point distance of 20’6”. DePaul went 8-for-28 (.286) as a team. The Blue Demons have played in two events in the last two seasons where the experimental distance was used. At the 2005 Rainbow Wahine Classic in Honolulu, the team posted a combined .306 percentage from behind the extended arc on 15-of-49 shooting in the three games.
Sister Act: The DePaul roster features two sets of sisters in 2006-07. Samantha Quigley joins the program this season for the roster’s second Quigley. Senior Rachael Carney and junior Erin Carney start their second season together while Samantha and junior Allie Quigley are playing together at the collegiate level for the first time this season. The two duos on the DePaul roster are two of 21 sets of sisters playing on a NCAA Division I team this season. DePaul is the only team in the country with two sets of sisters on the roster.
Four Going on Five: DePaul is looking to make the program’s fifth straight NCAA Championship appearance and fifth consecutive season with at least 20 victories. Last season saw the Blue Demons reach the NCAA Regional Semifinals for the first time in school history. Entering the 33rd season in school history, DePaul has totaled 11 NCAA Championship appearances and 15 campaigns of at least 20 wins. A 20-win season in 2006-07 will match the program’s longest streak of five consecutive years of 20 victories set from 1985-90.
TV Time: The BIG EAST Conference totals 82 combined appearances this season with every game of the league tournament televised for the first time. DePaul is scheduled to make six regular-season television appearances starting at Oklahoma on ESPN2. The Blue Demons will also be seen on ESPNU, CSTV and the BIG EAST TV Network. All games on CSTV and the BIG EAST TV Network will be streamed live at www.bigeast.tv. The online schedule includes DePaul games at Villanova and Louisville and the regular-season finale at McGrath Arena against Notre Dame.
Season-Opening Notes: Beginning the 33rd season of women’s basketball at DePaul University, the Blue Demons are 24-9 all-time in the first game. Prior to this year’s loss at Oklahoma, the Blue Demons won five straight season-openers from 2001-05. A year ago, the Blue Demons posted a 97-52 win over Harvard in the first round of the DePaul Invitational. The 45-point margin of victory was the second-highest season-opening advantage in school history. In DePaul’s first game in 1974, the Blue Demons posted a 62-17 win over Mundelein. Head coach Doug Bruno is 15-6 in the season’s first game at DePaul.