Blue Demons and Ramblers Tangle on Sunday in Lincoln Park
CHICAGO -- The No. 21/23 DePaul women's basketball welcomes Loyola-Chicago to McGrath Arena on Sunday. The Blue Demons and Ramblers tip in Lincoln Park at 5 p.m. while fans unable to attend can view DePaul's video stream and listen to Bryan Dolgin's account of the action live courtside. Dolgin's pregame show will begin at 4:45 p.m. and can be heard on www.depaulbluedemons.com.
Sunday's meeting is the 42nd in the series that dates back to 1976. The Blue Demons hold a 32-9 series advantage, while they have won the last 15 games. Loyola's last series victory was in 1993, in Rogers Park.
The Blue Demons (6-2) have been perfect at home this season and have won their last six home games dating back to the 2008-09 season. DePaul is averaging 80.6 points per game this season at McGrath Arena while all five of the Blue Demons starters are averaging double-digits. Sophomore Keisha Hampton leads the bunch with 13.0 points per contest, while Felicia Chester, who is averaging 10.4 points per game, leads the defense with 7.3 rebounds.
DePaul is playing its third Horizon League team this week. The Blue Demons topped UIC on Friday 67-56, but dropped tough road game at Green Bay on Wednesday.
Loyola-Chicago (4-2) has won three of its last four games, but heads to Lincoln Park after falling on the road to Wichita State, 62-54. Elyse Vanbogaert leads with Ramblers with 13.3 points per game.
Following Sunday's game, the Blue Demons do not return to Lincoln Park until 2010 when they host BIG EAST Conference foe and national runner-up Louisville on Jan. 5. Prior to the January's meeting with the Cardinals, the Blue Demons play at No. 2 Stanford (Dec. 13) and then participate in the Duel in the Desert at UNLV Dec. 19-21 and travel to Bloomington to take on Illinois State on Dec. 28.
Scouting the Ramblers: Loyola-Chicago is 4-2 this season and won three of its last four games... the Ramblers lost at Wichita State on Dec. 2, 62-64... Elyse Vanbogaert leads Loyola-Chicago with 13.2 ppg and has 25 rebounds... Ellen Ayoub has a team-best 28 rebounds... Keisha Collins has 22 assists and 14 turnovers for a 1.57 assist to turnover ratio... DePaul and Loyola have both played Central Michigan and won... the Ramblers defeated the CMU 65-61 in Mount Pleasant... Eric Simpson is in his first season at Loyola.
The DePaul/Loyola Series: DePaul leads 32-9... Sunday is the 42nd meeting between the two programs...DePaul has claimed 15 straight and 21 of the last 23 meetings... the last Blue Demons loss to the Ramblers was an 87-59 decision at Loyola on Dec. 12, 1993... a year ago, DePaul held off Loyola, 68-64 in Rogers Park... Naughton led DePaul with 27 points.
It could happen: The game is No. 1015 in DePaul women's basketball history... Felicia Chester needs three steals to reach the 100 career steals... Sam Quigley could start her 44th consecutive game, the longest active streak on the team... Quigley needs three rebounds to reach the 200 career mark.
UIC Recap: Sam Quigley and Keisha Hampton led the Blue Demons to a 67-56 victory over intra-city rival Illinois-Chicago... Quigley had 21 points, five rebounds and four assists while Hampton came away with 16 points and eight rebounds... Two big runs in the second half enabled DePaul to establish a comfortable lead. Hampton scored a quick seven points in the Blue Demons' 13-2 burst at the outset of the second half... after UIC responded with eight unanswered points, DePaul took off on a decisive 14-4 run to go ahead 57-43 with 9 minutes, 43 seconds left.
Looking Ahead: Sunday's game is the final home game for the Blue Demons before opening BIG EAST Conference play on Jan. 5 against Louisville. The Blue Demons close out 2009 on the road -- playing at Stanford (Dec. 13) before participating at the Duel in the Desert Dec. 19-21 in Las Vegas and close out the year at Illinois State on Dec. 28.
Charity Stripe Success: DePaul leads the country with a .817 free throw percentage... the Blue Demons are 116-of-142 from the free throw line this season while Anna Martin leads the squad with .889 percentage... DePaul started the season with a 17-for-18 (.944) effort against Central Michigan... shot under .800 in just three games this season... nine Blue Demons have recorded a 1.000 free throw percentage (min. 2 attempts)... Felicia Chester leads the Blue Demons with four perfect games while Keisha Hampton and Sam Quigley each have three... Hampton leads the team with a 7-for-7 effort against Central Michigan.
Nice Pass: Sam Quigley entered this week ranked No. 10 in the country in assist to turnover ratio... the junior leads the Blue Demons with 41 assists while she has turned over the ball just 19 times for a 2.16 assist to turnover ratio... Quigley has led the Blue Demons in assists five times and has a career- best seven assists twice this season.
Naughton Out: Deirdre Naughton will miss the remainder of the 2009-10 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee. Naughton, who entered the Northwestern game averaging 17.5 points per game this season, injured her knee in the first half of No. 15/21 DePaul's 59-55 loss to the Wildcats on Nov. 24. "Deirdre Naughton has been the heart and soul of this basketball team," Blue Demons head coach Doug Bruno said. "To lose her for the season is a devastating blow to this team. Every team in the nation at one time or another has been forced to deal with the adversity of injuries. Losing Deirdre Naughton will test the metal of this year's ballclub and we do expect every member of our team to step up in her absence." Naughton, was named to the preseason Wade Watch and was a Naismith Trophy and John R. Wooden candidate prior to the 2009-10 season. A second team All-BIG EAST Conference selection and Associated Press All-American honorable mention as a junior, Naughton has scored 1,470 points in her career. She played her freshman season at Wake Forest in 2005-06 before transferring to DePaul.
Martin Moments: Since getting her first collegiate start at Northern Illinois on Nov. 28, Anna Martin has made huge impact... the freshman has averaged 15.0 points and 6.3 rebounds the last three games... against Northern Illinois Martin led DePaul with eight rebounds, while she had a career-high 19 points against Green Bay.
Against the State: DePaul has seen recent success against in-state opponents. Over the last 61 games against Chicago State, Illinois, Illinois-Chicago, Illinois State, Loyola-Chicago, Northern Illinois, Northwestern and Southern Illinois, the Blue Demons have posted 59 victories. DePaul's 36-game winning streak against programs from the state of Illinois came to an end when Northwestern defeated the Blue Demons 59-55 in Evanston on Nov. 24. Prior to the loss at Northwestern, the last loss to a state program was on Dec. 4, 2002, when Illinois defeated the Blue Demons in Champaign by a 71-67 score. During the 61-game stretch, two losses were at Illinois with the last home loss to an in-state program was on Nov. 20, 1998, against Northwestern. The Wildcats defeated the Blue Demons at Alumni Hall by a score of 62-61 and then most recently at Welsh-Ryan Arena in 2009.
Coach Doug Bruno Court: Beginning in the 2010-11 season, the Blue Demons will play their home games at McGrath Arena on Coach Doug Bruno Court. DePaul's Director of Athletics, Jean Lenti Ponsetto made the announcement on Nov. 16. The 2010-11 season will also mark Coach Bruno's 25th season at DePaul while he is also on track to record his 500th career win that season.
LPTV: DePaul has partnered with LPTV and will play four games on that station. LPTV is one of Chicago's Public television stations and broadcasted DePaul's win over San Diego and UIC. The Blue Demons games with BIG EAST Conference foes, Connecticut and West Virginia will also be carried on LPTV. DePaul is 2-0 when playing on LPTV.
AP No. 21: The DePaul women's basketball team ranks No. 21 in this week's Associated Press Poll... the Blue Demons have been ranked in each of the four polls this season... DePaul ranked as high as No. 15 (Nov. 22)... DePaul is one of four BIG EAST teams in the top 25. Connecticut was unanimous at No. 1 while Notre Dame came in at No. 5 and Pittsburgh is No. 19.
USA TODAY/ESPN Coaches Poll No. 23: DePaul enters this week at No. 23 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll... the Blue Demons have been ranked in the top 25 or have been receiving votes in each of four polls this season... DePaul is one of five BIG EAST teams in the poll... Connecticut is unanimous at No. 1 while Notre Dame came in at No. 6 and Pittsburgh is No. 20 and Louisville is No. 25.
BIG EAST Predictions: DePaul was picked to finish the BIG EAST Conference regular season in third while Deirdre Naughton and Keisha Hampton were selected to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team in a vote of the league's 16 head coaches. DePaul and Louisville gathered the same number of points to finish in a tie for third behind preseason favorite Connecticut and Notre Dame.
Taking Advantage from Beyond the Arc: Since the start of the 2005-06 season (139 games), the club has knocked down 967 trifectas compared to just 687 for the opposition... with three 3-pointers against San Diego State at the NCAA Championship in San Diego, the team clinched the 10th straight year with at least 200 three-pointers... a 0-for-8 showing against Houston on Feb. 11, 2005, ended DePaul's streak with a three-pointer at 259 games... at the time, it was the nation's seventh-longest active streak... more recently, the Blue Demons 0-14 showing at Northern Illinois ended a 144 game streak with a 3-pointer... including the Houston and Northern Illinois games, the Blue Demons have tallied a three-pointer in 405 of the last 407 games.
Home Cookin': Through nine-plus seasons, McGrath Arena - formerly known as the DePaul Athletic Center - has proven itself as one of the toughest venues in the nation. The Blue Demons have posted a 111-19 (.854) record in the arena's 130 games. DePaul's .848 winning percentage entering the 2009-10 season ranks ninth among all active arenas and 11th all-time.
Beginning its 36th season of women's basketball at DePaul University, the Blue Demons have an all-time home court record of 375-103 (.785). Over 26 seasons at Alumni Hall, the women's basketball program won over 75 percent of its 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.
There have been 15 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 #5/4 Connecticut. The Blue Demons' 11-game winning streak dating back to the 2006-07 season ended on Jan. 2, 2008 with the 102-68 loss to #3/3 Tennessee.
Over the last seven-plus years at McGrath Arena, the team is 90-12 at home with four losses to teams ranked in the top five. DePaul lost in overtime to #2/2 Tennessee on Dec. 17, 2003, before the Connecticut loss in Jan. 2006. Tennessee, ranked third in both polls, served DePaul its fifth defeat before the 77-76 loss to #1/1 Connecticut on Mar. 1, 2008. Maybe more impressive is that the Blue Demons' average margin of victory during that span that 20.5 points per game.
The Blue Demons have also posted 88 victories in the last 91 games over unranked opponents. West Virginia ended DePaul's 58-game streak over unranked opponents with a 74-63 decision on Jan. 9, 2007 before Pittsburgh and Louisville handed the Blue Demons defeats in 2007-08. During the 58-game streak, there were 54 victories at McGrath Arena and four wins at the Allstate Arena.
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 the 2009-10 season:
Maggie Dixon Recap: DePaul won the inaugural Maggie Dixon Classic in the Midwest with wins over Cornell and San Diego. Formally known as the DePaul Invitational, the Maggie Dixon Classic honors former Blue Demon assistant coach Maggie Dixon, who died on April 6, 2006 of an arrhythmia. Dixon's tragic death came three weeks after her first season as the head coach at Army which saw the Black Knights win the Patriot League Championship and make the program's first trip to the NCAA Championship. The Classic is the third tournament to be named after the former Blue Demon assistant and Army head coach. Jamie Dixon, the head coach at Pittsburgh hosts a tournament at Madison Square Garden, while San Diego, Dixon's alma mater also hosts a tournament in Dixon's name.
The Blue Demons defeated Cornell, 89-50 while the biggest story of the night was freshman Katherine Harry's 18 rebounds. Harry's 18 boards were the most by a Blue Demon player since Erin Carney grabbed 19 at Oklahoma. Deirdre Naughton scored 24 as the Blue Demons claimed the Championship with an 84-64 win over San Diego. Naughton earned MVP honors while Felicia Chester and Keisha Hampton were named to the All-Tournament team.
Marching Along: DePaul made its seventh consecutive and the program's 14th NCAA Championship appearance in 2009... Blue Demons were one of seven BIG EAST programs in the field of 64... the conference led all leagues along with the Big 12 with teams earning bids... the program is 7-14 (.333) all-time in NCAA Championship play... DePaul is one of 14 teams to appear in each of the last seven tournaments... joining the Blue Demons on the list of 14 teams with seven straight NCAA's are Connecticut, Duke, Georgia, LSU, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Purdue, Rutgers, Stanford, Tennessee and Vanderbilt... the seven straight appearances are a program record for consecutive NCAA's... DePaul earned four consecutive NCAA berths from 1990-93 followed by a three-year run from 1995-97... the program is 4-8 entering in its last seven tournament appearances, including a 2006 NCAA Regional Semifinal appearance in San Antonio, Texas.