DePaul Balance Bounces NIU

CHICAGO- Five minutes into Saturday's game against DePaul, Northern Illinois women's basketball coach Kathi Bennett could be seen on the sideline rubbing her forehead as her team struggled to get its offense in gear. Things did not get better the rest of the night for the Huskies.

DePaul placed five players in double figures, used a run in the first half, and had solid second half free throw shooting in defeating the Huskies, 72-52, at McGrath Arena.

The Blue Demons have now scored 70 or points in 10 of 12 games this season. They rank 15th in the country in scoring offense at 82.8 ppg.

Keisha Hampton, averaging 17.2 ppg, was held to 11 points but her final point of the night was a record- setting one as her free throw with 3:49 left placed her at 1,000 career points at DePaul.

"In some games coaches look to post me and in some games I have had the mismatch where I can take [opponents]. It has been just finding my shots within the offense," Hampton said.

DePaul (10-1) got another strong performance Deanna Ortiz off the bench. Ortiz, who averaged 1.0 ppg last year, tied her career high with 12 points on four of five shooting from behind the arc in the first half. Her effort tied her with 14 other Blue Demons for sixth place in DePaul single game three-point field goal percentage.

"I have been trying to help the team, move around, run the offense and let the game come to me. With flow and execution, that is when the easy shots come," Ortiz said.

At the 10:09 mark, a three by Ortiz, a jumper by Taylor Pikes off an assist from Ortiz, a jumper from Anna Martin and a twisting reverse lay up by Martin led DePaul on a 9-0 run over the next 3:30, and the Blue Demons led 29-13.

A 20-7 run into the half gave DePaul a 40-22 lead.

Katherine Harry, coming off a career high 20 points against Loyola, buried her first college three pointer, a jumper from the left wing in the first half. She finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.

The Huskies crept to 57-44 with 6:16 remaining, but DePaul's 12-15 free throw shooting in the second half helped keep NIU at bay. DePaul shot 81% (17-21) from the line for the game.

Sam Quigley was on the verge of tying Jenni Dant for second place in the McGrath Arena single game free throw percentage record before missing her final free throw to finish 10-11 from the line. Quigley led DePaul with 13 points despite shooting just 1-8 from the field.

Felicia Chester added 10 points and five rebounds for the Blue Demons.

The schedule for #24 DePaul gets tougher next week as the Blue Demons entertain Northwestern (receiving AP votes) on Monday at 7:00 p.m. and second ranked Stanford on Thursday. The team then travels to Arizona State the following Tuesday.

"Next week is a Big East level schedule week," DePaul coach Doug Bruno said. "We are going to find out what we are made of in these next three non-conference games."

NIU (5-3) got a game high 18 points from Kim Davis in the losing effort.


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