DePaul Women Gel in Exhibition Opener

CHICAGO - Parts of it at the start were not pretty. There were missed layups, blown defensive assignments, passes to teammates who were not looking and passes to teammates who were looking but which should not have been thrown. But the old and new eventually gelled, and things worked out nicely in the end.

No. 19 DePaul placed 10 players in the scoring column and got 41 points from its bench as the Blue Demons beat Illinois Wesleyan 92-59 Tuesday night at McGrath-Phillips Arena in the exhibition opener for both teams.

"How the meshing of the old and new comes together is really going to be a key," said DePaul coach Doug Bruno. "I thought there were some pretty good moments of meshing tonight, but it is still very early."

Junior center Katherine Harry scored the game's first six points and senior forward and Associated Press Honorable Mention All-America Keisha Hampton scored the next 10 points to give DePaul a 16-11 lead.

Then it was the new's turn.

Freshman point guard Brittany Hrynko scored six points over the next five minutes to push the lead to 31-12. Hrynko scored a team high 18 points on 4-6 shooting from the field and 8-8 shooting from the line.

"The speed of the game is the biggest adjustment between high school and college, said Hrynko. "I was nervous at first, but I got into the flow of the game and tried to get my teammates involved and just let the game come to me."

Fellow frosh point guard Chanise Jenkins scored 11 points and had three steals for the night.

Hrynko and Jenkins turned the ball over just three times in a combined 38 minutes of play.

Bruno, in his 26th year at DePaul, knows, however, that one game does not make a season.

"We have some very serious questions to answer," said Bruno. "Sam Quigley was a great point guard for us, so we have to find somebody who is going to run the [point] for us. I thought both Brittany and Chanise did a good job tonight."

The Titans, 27-6 and Division III Final Four participants last year, were outmatched by DePaul's quickness and speed the entire evening. The Blue Demons scored 41 points off 30 turnovers and had 16 steals. A steal by Kelsey Reynolds and Jenkins' layup gave DePaul its biggest lead of 38 points with 2:27 left in the contest.

"I was a little suspicious of sustaining our intensity and our energy," said Bruno. "Tonight, I thought once the lights went on and we put our jerseys on, we sustained some energy and that is what I was most excited about."

Hampton finished with 15 points in 22 minutes of play. Harry, coming off a preseason foot injury, scored 10 points and led DePaul with eight rebounds.

The Titans' Olivia Lett led all scorers with 22 points.

DePaul finishes out the exhibition part of its schedule this Saturday at McGrath-Phillips as part of a DePaul triple header. Women's volleyball plays Rutgers at 2:00 p.m. followed by women's basketball at 5:00 p.m. versus St. Xavier and the men's basketball team concludes the evening at 7:30 p.m. versus Lewis.

Notes:

- Taylor Pikes and Alexa Gallagher did not dress for DePaul. Both are recovering from knee injuries.

- DePaul basketball alumnus Caprice Smith was in attendance.


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