No. 24/21 DePaul (16-6, 8-1 Big East) placed twelve players in the scoring column and beat Providence 96-50 at McGrath Phillips Arena.
“We have been struggling to find minutes for our depth, and I thought our depth did a good job in the first half when the game was still a game,” Bruno said. “They did a good job tonight of showing they can play in crunch time, and that is what we are trying to grow this team into.”
Providence closed to 17-12 in the first quarter on a jumper by Clara Che before DePaul went on a 31-4 run. All five DePaul starters had scored by the time DePaul led 24-14.
That run included freshman Tanita Allen’s three-point play, where she caught the ball on the break under the basket, was stopped in her tracks, and lifted a shot over two defenders. She added a three-pointer during that run. DePaul played twelve players in the first half, and all of them scored. DePaul had no player in double figures in the first 20 minutes.
DePaul got a solid effort from its starters today.
Chanise Jenkins had 11 points, four assists, and four steals; Megan Podkowa had a team-high 16 points and six rebounds; Jacqui Grant had 10 points and nine rebounds; Brooke Schulte had four points and two boards; and Jessica January had seven points, four rebounds, and four assists.
Jenkins’ steal at 1:02 of the first quarter moved her past Allie Quigley and into tenth place all-time at DePaul with 214 steals.
January’s assist on Grant’s layup with 8:23 to play moved her past Jenni Dant and into tenth place all-time at DePaul with 344 assists.
Solid bench play will be critical for DePaul’s success in its next three games.
St. John’s (6-2) was picked second in the preseason conference coaches’ poll, Villanova (6-3) third, and Seton Hall (5-3) fifth. Villanova’s loss to Georgetown today leaves St. John’s in sole possession of second place. DePaul plays Seton Hall at home this Friday; St. John’s at home this Sun.; and travels to Villanova on Feb. 5 to play the only team that has blemished the Blue Demon’s conference record.
“The players are starting to understand the urgency of the moment and the urgency of the time of the season,” Bruno said. “I thought Amarah Coleman gave us a good lift, and Lauren Prochaska is really a better point guard than people realize. Tanita Allen has been good off the bench. Ashton Millender and Mart’e Grays have been the first two off the bench, and I thought everybody did a good job coming off the bench.”
Coleman finished with 10 points on 4-7 from the field to go along with five boards and three assists. Her beautiful finger roll in the paint gave DePaul a 90-45 lead with 5:37 to play.
Prochaska scored eight points, grabbed six boards, and had three assists and three steals in 19 minutes of play.
Millender scored seven points and had three boards.
Grays scored seven points on 2-2 shooting from the field in 11 minutes of play.
And the depth went deeper.
Brandi Harvey-Carr had four points and six rebounds and Meri Bennett-Swanson added two points and a steal.
DePaul’s 53.6 percent field goal shooting for the game was its second highest percentage this year. This year’s team is currently No. 8 all-time at DePaul in scoring average at 79.9 ppg, excluding today’s outburst.
Providence (4-15, 0-9) is 4-2 this year when three or more players reach double figure scoring and is now 0-13 with two or fewer double figure scorers. Maddie Jolin was the only Friar in double figures with 12 points.
The Friars are averaging 57 ppg this year, and are now 1-15 when trailing at the half. DePaul led 54-25 at the break. The Blue Demons hit six of their first seven shots, including 4-4 from behind the arc, to open the third quarter and extend their lead to 69-32.
DePaul lost the first two meetings between the teams in 1987 and 1989, but is now 12-4 all-time versus Providence.
- Bruno was presented the game ball from his 600th win at DePaul, a 61-54 win at Butler on Jan. 15.
- Today was DePaul women’s basketball Alumnae Day, with roughly 30 players being introduced after the game and surrounding Bruno, along with his family, during the presentation of the game ball.