Names Prevail, DePaul Women Win

CHICAGO- The DePaul women's basketball team has new uniforms this year. And the most important component of the uniforms might be the names on the back of them. DePaul this year has two Kelseys, two Megans, a Brittany, a Brooke, and a Brandi.

And with each name comes a skill set that led each player to be recruited to play basketball at DePaul. At McGrath-Phillips Arena Tuesday night, those names and those skill sets equaled a win for the Blue Demons.

No. 25/NR DePaul placed four players in double figures in a 91-59 exhibition game win versus St. Xavier.

"This was probably a classic first basketball game," said DePaul coach Doug Bruno. "We did a lot of good things and we did some things that were not so good, and that is why you play exhibition games this time of the year. We were focused with our energy, but we weren't always focused defensively, rebounding and taking care of the basketball."

And what DePaul did well and not so well, they did with eight players. Preseason unanimous All-Big East selection Anna Martin and redshirt freshman Chanise Jenkins sustained minor ankle sprains earlier in the week and watched from the bench. Redshirt freshman Alexa Gallagher continues to rehab her knee and junior Kelsey Smith cannot play until November 21 due to NCAA transfer guidelines.

Katherine Harry played eighteen minutes after returning from a stress fracture in her foot. She scored eight points and a had a game-high 13 rebounds.

And as much as this game was about exploring strengths and weaknesses, it also contained two major missions.

For the players returning from last year's second round NCAA Tournament squad, it was about continuing to polish what was started last year.

For the freshmen, it was about establishing that they could play NCAA Division I basketball.

And as ragged as first games usually are, for DePaul, both missions could be deemed successful ones.

All Big-East freshman Brittany Hrynko scored a game-high 19 points, dished out a game-high 14 assists and grabbed seven rebounds.

"Coach [Bruno] always tells me in practice to use my eyes and to make the good pass," said Hrynko. "Tonight I pushed the ball more and hit the open player. I thought that that was easier for me tonight than at any time last year."

Jasmine Penny, Kelsey Reynolds and Megan Rogowski each added sixteen points with Penny and Reynolds shooting a combined 12-16 from the field. Rogowski shot 4-12 from behind the arc.

"I was able to play the freshmen a lot and let them play through their first game and first experience and let them feel what it's like to be on a college floor and to feel the speed of the game," Bruno said.

Brandi-Harvey Carr started out slow, but by the end of the game her skill set shined.

"Brandi was very much out of sorts early and then at the end of the game she started to show some of the dominance and strength she possesses physically on the boards," said Bruno.

Harvey-Carr's first half line was 0-1 with one rebound and two personal fouls. She finished with six points and seven rebounds, showing an emerging dominance in the paint.

Fellow freshman Megan Podkowa's start was similarly slow, but Bruno has said that freshmen tell him that the speed of the game is the biggest adjustment for them.

Podkowa's 22-footer from the top of the key capped an 11-2 DePaul run and put the Blue Demons up 60-39 with 12:01 left in the game.

Brooke Schulte entered the game with 12:42 left in the first half and drained a jumper from the left corner two minutes later. She finished the game with two points, three rebounds and one assist.

DePaul had turnovers on its first two possessions of the game, but a 14-0 run gave the Blue Demons a 21-5 lead with 13:29 left in the first half.

Morgan Stuut led St. Xavier with 12 points. The Cougars were 24-9 last year and are ranked No. 6 in this year's preseason NAIA poll.

The Blue Demons play their last exhibition game of this season this Saturday at home versus Illinois Wesleyan at 5:00 CST.

Game notes:

- DePaul is now 23-4 in season openers on its home floor and now has 16 straight wins over programs from the State of Illinois.

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