No. 16/14 DePaul placed six players in double figures and beat Prairie View A&M 94-62 on DePaul’s annual Field Trip Day, which benefits Chicagoland students.
DePaul (6-2), with its losses coming to then-No. 5 Baylor and then-No. 2 Connecticut in the past week, showed no fatigue, with Ashton Millender (15 points on 6-10 shooting from the field) hitting two three-pointers early in the game for a 14-4 DePaul lead.
“We have not played well all year, and we have had two atrocious quarters- one against Baylor and one against UConn,” DePaul coach Doug Bruno said. “And yet we are still in a good place from a wins/losses [perspective]. And today was about playing ball.”
The leading scorers on both teams were comparatively close, with DePaul’s Jessica January averaging 16.7 ppg and Prairie View’s Alexus Parker averaging 16.3 ppg. But the close comparisons for the two teams ended there.
Prairie View (4-5) had committed 147 turnovers in its prior eight games, and that trend continued tonight with DePaul forcing 21 turnovers. Brooke Schulte and Amarah Coleman led DePaul with three steals each. Panther opponents had been averaging 29.7 percent shooting from three-point range and had been making 6.1 three-pointers per game. DePaul shot 32.4 percent (12-37) today from behind the arc.
DePaul scored 90+ points for the fourth time this season. Tanita Allen registered her first career double-double at DePaul with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Allen, recovering from a broken hand, has participated in just 10 practices this season.
January added 12 points and seven assists for DePaul. Her total assists today moves her past Molly Watkins for fifth all-time at DePaul. January also passed Drexel’s Meghan Creighton for sixth among active Division I career leaders in assists with 478 basis NCAA statistics.
DePaul, No. 3 in the country in assists per game at 20.7, had 29 assists, with 11 players notching at least one.
And at 2:26 of the first quarter, DePaul showed its assist ability, with a perimeter passing sequence of Coleman (10 points) to Lauren Prochaska (three points, four assists, four rebounds) to Kelly Campbell (10 points and three assists) in under two seconds, resulting in a Campbell three-pointer. Campbell followed with another three-pointer as part of a 12-2 DePaul run and a 26-7 lead. The Blue Demons held Prairie View scoreless for 4:52 during the second quarter.
Jacqui Grant has scored in double figures in six of the last seven games, adding 15 points tonight to go along with six rebounds and three assists.
“Grant has to be our inside anchor,” Bruno said. “We are looking for her to start stabilizing her own game and that is going to stabilize our game. She was a presence in the first half, as was Tanita Allen.”
DePaul has been holding its annual Field Trip Day since 2004.
“Field Trip Day is always a special day because DePaul University, Jean Lenti Ponsetto, Father Dennis Holtschneider, Dave Corzine, and the whole department does a great job of bringing in over 3,000 young children from all over the Chicago public school system and the Chicago Catholic school system. We pay for the buses and the t-shirts, and I am really proud of DePaul for reaching out,” Bruno said. “And the energy in the gym is very much appreciated.”
DePaul arduous pre-season schedule continues as it entertains No. 2/1 Notre Dame this Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Central time.