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Schulte, DePaul Zap Xavier

CHICAGO - One of the few things DePaul’s Brooke Schulte did wrong Sunday afternoon was shoot 0-2 from three-point range. The rest of her game was on target.

Schulte scored 20 of her game-high 28 points in the first half, and No. 21/20 DePaul won its tenth in a row in beating Xavier 85-69.

“I am coming to these games with an edge on, and I cannot thank my teammates enough for getting me the ball with precision and touch when I am open,” Schulte said.

That edge for the Big East’s leading scorer included shooting 13-20 from the floor today to go along with 11 rebounds and four assists. Schulte showed her all-around great play today when  she grabbed a rebound, led the break, dribbled-behind-her back 20 feet from the basket and drilled a 15-footer for a 43-25 second quarter lead. Schulte has now led DePaul (16-4, 8-0 Big East) in scoring in six of the Blue Demons’ last eight games.

“We had some possessions that were really good and some possessions that were not so good,” DePaul coach Doug Bruno said. “We are still getting that all cleaned up and in the big picture I am really proud of our players readiness to play.”

That big picture includes steady, solid play from Jacqui Grant and emerging, solid play from Amarah Coleman.  

Grant recorded her sixth double-double in DePaul’s last eight games with 17 points, a game-high 13 rebounds, and a team-high five assists.  

Xavier (10-8, 2-5) closed to 56-44 on a jumper by Marquia Turner late in the third quarter before Coleman’s two free throws and a lay up by Chante Stonewall (nine points and four boards) boosted DePaul’s lead to 60-44 with 2:07 left to play.

“Sometimes we struggle on expanding our lead, and I think [Coach Bruno] does a really good job of getting us back on the right track,” Grant said. “Sometimes we lose that sight and play a little lackadaisical. Getting ready to play and continuing that for 40 minutes is huge and I think we are really starting to figure it out, but we are not there yet.”   

Coleman finished with 15 points, five rebounds, three steals, and tied a career-high with five assists.  

“It is amazing what Amarah has been doing,” Bruno said. “She is playing with defensive discipline and that is getting her production. She is getting more steals because she is not just jumping all over the place. She is starting to understand and pay attention to details both defensively and offensively.”

Coleman did not score her first basket until 9:27 of the second quarter, but she struck again just 90 seconds later. She caught a pass in the air midway through the fourth quarter and, without landing back on her feet, fired to Schulte underneath for a 77-54 DePaul lead.   

DePaul’s 85 points ties the most given up by Xavier this season. The Blue Demons’ 78 field goals attempts is also a new Xavier opponent record this season. The Musketeers now trail the series 13-1, their only win coming in the series’ first game in 1984.

The Blue Demons trailed early in the first quarter before Kelly Campbell’s two three-pointers gave DePaul a 14-10 lead. Campbell is No. 7 in the country in assist/turnover ratio at 3.1, the only freshman in the Top 10. She had four assists and zero turnovers to go along with 11 points today.

DePaul continues conference play by hosting Marquette this Saturday.

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