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Coleman, DePaul Buzz Butler

CHICAGO- DePaul's Amarah Coleman scored a career-high 20 points Friday night versus Butler, but it was one of her single digit statistics that meant the most to her and to her coach. 

Coleman was part of five player double-digit scoring as No. 21/20 DePaul (15-4, 7-0 Big East) beat Butler 100-69 to start conference play unbeaten through the first seven games for the first time since 2010.

Coleman was benched in the second half of DePaul's recent win versus Creighton due to defensive problems, but a tape session, some instruction from DePaul coach Doug Bruno, and some desire from Coleman changed those problems into positives tonight.

"The reason [Amarah] did not play the second half of the Creighton game is because I did not feel she was as defensively focused as we needed her to be," Bruno said. "I am really proud of Amarah allowing herself to be coached. She has the athleticism to be very talented on both sides of the ball."

"I have focused on the little things and wanting to defend as much as I want to score," Coleman said. "I know I can do it, but I just have to want to do it, to be steak and not sizzle."

Coleman had a career-high five steals tonight, and along with Jacqui Grant, was instrumental in holding the Bulldogs' Tori Schickel to eight points and eight rebounds. Schickel did not score her first field goal until one minute remained until the half. Schickel had 20 points and 20 rebounds in Butler's prior game versus Xavier.

But Coleman has not sacrificed her offense to play better defense. She shot 6-9 from the field tonight, including 3-4 from behind the arc, and was part of a DePaul fast break where Kelly Campbell found Coleman on the wing, who rifled a pass underneath to Brooke Schulte for a lay up, a sequence that was done without one dribble from any of three players

Schulte added a game-high 24 points on 12-17 from the field, and has scored 20+ points in six of her last eight games.  

"[My offensive mentality] has stayed the same [over these past nine games]" Schulte said. " I have become a little bit more aggressive to score, and I think I owe that to my teammates and having my teammates and my coaches in my ear to be constantly aggressive and to look at the basket."

This was assembly line basketball for DePaul tonight as Coleman, Schulte, Campbell, and Grant scored DePaul's first four baskets as part of a 19-4 run to start the game.

DePaul shot a new Big East season-high 55 percent (36-66) from the field, breaking Marquette's record of 52 percent versus Villanova last December. The Blue Demons' 100 points is also a new conference high this season, eclipsing their 96 points versus Seton Hall on January 8.

Grant added 16 points and six boards. Her rebound at 9:37 of the second quarter gave her 300 rebounds in her two years at DePaul. Her one blocked shot leaves her two shy of 50 at DePaul.

"Jacqui did a really good job of bringing her lunch bucket and hard hat and going to work on a very tough match up [against Schickel]," Bruno said. "Butler is really good when Schickel has a great game, and I thought Jacqui was really key to that."

Bruno was asked if he was surprised at the offensive weapons his team has developed so far this season, with Tanita Allen, Chante Stonewall, Lauren Prochaska, Schulte, and now Coleman registering career-highs in points over the last five games.

"It usually takes time to get it all put together," Bruno said. "Our players are getting the drill about being ready to play, and that is the most important aspect of games, our readiness to play and being ready to compete and I thought we came out with good energy tonight."

Michelle Weaver led Butler (5-12, 2-4 Big East) with 17 points.

DePaul stays home to take on Xavier this Sunday.   


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