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Blue Demons and Xavier Meet on New Year's Day in Lincoln Park

Dec. 31, 2013

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CHICAGO - The DePaul women's basketball team opens its BIG EAST Conference schedule at 4 p.m. against Xavier on Wednesday. The Blue Demons put their season-long five-game winning streak on the line against the Musketeers, who have dropped their last three contests.

DePaul (9-3) enters its ninth season in the BIG EAST Conference and was picked to finish first in the league's preseason poll by the coaches.  DePaul is 5-3 in its BIG EAST openers and has won its last three.  The Blue Demons also boast a 4-0 record when opening league play at McGrath-Phillips Arena.  

The Blue Demons closed out their non-conference schedule with a 91-67 win at Bradley on Dec. 29.  Jasmine Penny paced three players in double-figures and tied a career-high with 29 points.  The senior's season-high point total also sent the Logansport, Ind., native over the 1,000-point mark for her career.  Penny enters Wednesday's game with 1,026 points which ranks fourth among active BIG EAST players.

On the year, DePaul has used a balanced attack with all five of its starters averaging double-figures.  Megan Rogowski leads the group with 14.9 points and Penny follows with 14.8. Chanise Jenkins (11.0), Megan Podkowa (10.8) and Brittany Hrynko (10.7) are also averaging double figures. As a team, the Blue Demons are averaging 84.2 points per contest which ranks 17th in the Division I and is tops in the BIG EAST.

DePaul also ranks in the top 17 in Division I in the categories of - assists (4th - 21.3), steals (5th - 12.9), 3-point field goals per game (11th - 9.0), assist to turnover ratio (11th - 1.36) and 17th in the categories of scoring offense and turnover margin (+6.33).

With DePaul always finding the open player, the Blue Demons are averaging an assist on 67.8 percent (255-of-371) of its baskets.  Hrynko, who was selected as the preseason BIG EAST Player of the Year, leads the conference with 5.8 assists per game and has recorded 10 or more assists in two of her last three games.  Chanise Jenkins ranks third in the BIG EAST with 5.4 assists while the sophomore is second in the conference with her amazing 3.25 assist to turnover ratio.

Xavier (5-7) is playing its first BIG EAST game since joining the conference on July 1, 2013.  The Musketeers enter the contest looking for their first win since Dec. 7, 2013 when they defeated Austin Peay at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati.

Xavier ranks fourth in the BIG EAST with 6.2 3-pointers per game.  Ashley Wanninger leads the team with 21 triples, while Shatyra Hawkes follows with 20.  Hawks leads Xavier in scoring with 15.4 points per game.

DePaul and Xavier are meeting for the first time since the 1985-86 season and met twice a year starting in the 1983-84 season.  The Blue Demons lead the all-time series 5-1 and have won the five straight in the series.  DePaul is 3-0 in games played in Lincoln Park.

The Blue Demons and Musketeers meet again in Cincinnati at 6 p.m. (CT) on Feb. 5 at the Cintas Center.

Tickets for all DePaul athletic events can be purchased on DePaulBlueDemons.com, by calling the ticket office at (773) 325-SLAM or visiting the ticket office which is located at 2323 N. Sheffield Avenue in Chicago.