Hampton's Heat Launches DePaul Women

CHICAGO- DePaul's Keisha Hampton scored on a jumper in the first minute of Friday night's game against Valparaiso. Few people in McGrath Arena could have predicted what the next 19 minutes would bring.

Keisha Hampton scored 24 first half points to help DePaul coach Doug Bruno reach 499 career wins as the Blue Demons defeated the Crusaders 84-53 in the first round of the Pre-season WNIT tournament.

"[Keisha] is a special young woman," Bruno said. "And why she is special is not because of the 24 points, but because she works to get better, and she takes coaching and when we push her to get better she does not resist that."

Hampton, named to this year's Naismith Trophy Watch List, scored 12 of DePaul's first 16 points.

"It is a great honor to be up there with the top players in the nation and to be honored as one of them, but I had the same motivation coming into this year, just having a successful season," Hampton said.

A three point play by the Blue Demons' Anna Martin (16 points) pushed DePaul's lead to 25-8 with nine minutes gone.

The Crusaders then went on an 11-0 run behind Betsy Adams' two three pointers to pull to within 25-19 before a Hampton jumper broke DePaul's scoring drought. Adams finished with 15 points, all in the first half.

A block by DePaul's Katherine Harry with 2:26 left in the half re-energized the Blue Demons, and Hampton followed with a steal and a layup and then a three pointer to push the lead to 43-31 at the break. Hampton finished with a game high 27 points.

Harry and Felicia Chester were a formidable inside tandem, and DePaul outscored the Crusaders 42-18 in the paint.

Chester had a quiet first half with six points and four rebounds, but her three-point play to start the second half helped propel her to a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

"We asked Felicia to be a more aggressive scorer this year and also not wait to come out of the blocks until the fifth or sixth game of the season," Bruno said. "I thought she had a little bit more of an offensive mind set tonight."

Harry, wearing a protective face mask, finished with five blocks, four steals and six rebounds.

"Katherine is getting better." Bruno said. "She is getting stronger and is having a better presence."

DePaul travels to to face the Missouri State Lady Bears on Monday for a 7:05 CST tipoff. Missouri State beat Lamar Friday to advance to the tournament's 2nd round.

Notes:

- Valparaiso is now 0-17 versus DePaul

- Sam Quigley's seven assists moved her into a tie for 6th with Jenni Dant in DePaul career assists

- Chester played in her 100th game at DePaul; Quigley in her 99th game

- 14 out of the 16 teams in this year's WNIT were in post-season play last year


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