Chanise Jenkins scored a season-high 17 points as No. 18 DePaul bounced back from a competitive game versus No. 1 UConn to beat Illinois State 89-41.
“Our players played in a big game this past Wednesday [versus UConn] and we are going to play in a big game this Wednesday versus No. 3 Notre Dame, and so for our players to have the ability to focus and play with a great amount of energy, focus and effort- that is what I appreciate about my player’s efforts tonight,” DePaul coach Doug Bruno
Bruno continued with his five-for-five platoon substitutions with Ashton Millender, Lauren Prochaska, Amarah Coleman, and Jacqui Grant spelling the starters at 7:31 of the first quarter and DePaul leading 9-5. That group exited at 4:58, having forced four ISU turnovers and increasing DePaul’s lead to 15-7. Millender scored nine points total, Prochaska added four assists, Coleman scored 10 points, and Grant had five points and a team-high tying five rebounds.
“We came out really focused tonight,” Jenkins said “We were sort of disappointed after the UConn game, but at the same time we have to move forward, and Illinois State was the next best team that we had to compete against.”
Jenkins also tied a season-high with seven assists.
DePaul’s (6-2) leading scorer Megan Podkowa again struggled from the floor, scoring just six points but tying a career-high in assists with five. She needs 10 points to move ahead of former DePaul great Katherine Harry for 30th all-time in scoring at DePaul.
ISU (1-6) got to 15-12 on Octavia Crump’s lay up as DePaul missed seven of its last eight shots in the first quarter. But Grant’s 3-pointer from the left wing gave the Blue Demons their largest lead of the quarter at 24-14.
Redbird opponents are averaging 8.3 steals per game. DePaul had eight steals in the first quarter. ISU is averaging just 9.3 points in first quarters this year, and it trailed 26-16 at the end of tonight’s first quarter.
DePaul’s Merri Bennett-Swanson’s steal midway through the fourth quarter, and her steal with twelve seconds left in the game set DePaul McGrath-Phillips Arena records for opponent turnovers at 40 and for DePaul steals at 26.
Millender’s 3-pointer was part of a 10-0 DePaul run and a 41-18 lead in the second quarter. The Blue Demons finished the half on a 31-8 run to lead 57-24 at the break.
DePaul was ISU’s first ranked opponent this season. This was the sixth time the two teams have played when DePaul has been ranked. The Blue Demons lead the series 12-3, including nine straight since the 2006 season. DePaul last lost to ISU on Jan. 11, 1984, 78-65.
Notes: ISU student-athletes, coaches, and staff are wearing a patch this year in memory of the seven men the university lost in a plane crash on April 7, 2015.