Blue Demons Win "Homecoming" Game 105-79

The DePaul women's basketball team took on many of their own alumni in an exhibition game tonight at the DePaul Athletic Center in Chicago. The starting lineup for the Chicago Challengers featured all DePaul graduates – Jenni Dant, Jamie Lewis, Kris Rastrelli, Charlene Smith, and Carla Stone. Coach Doug Bruno's 18th ranked Blue Demons were up to the challenge and came out on top 105-79.

The Challengers fell to 2-3 in the loss. The first half featured several scoring streaks. With the Challengers leading 16-12 in the first half, DePaul proceeded to go on a 14 point run sparked by an Allie Quigley steal and field goal. The Challengers responded with a run of their own to tie the game at 30 with 3:26 remaining in the first half.

The Challengers lead at the break 37-36, despite DePaul dominating the boards 27 to 15 in the first half. Ciara Johnson kicked the Blue Demons out to a 40-37 lead with a three pointer early in the second half and DePaul never trailed again.

DePaul's Jenna Rubino led all scorers with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Three other Blue Demons finished in double figures – Allie Quigley (20 points), Missy Mitidiero (14 points including four three-pointers), and Johnson (11 points).

Charlene Smith led the Challengers with 21 points and 7 rebounds. Dant finished with 17 points and center Jamie Lewis scored 15. The Challengers were coached by Karen Stack Umlauf who played at Northwestern and currently works in the Chicago Bulls front office.

"It was an important game for us just because we're playing against the quickness that we're going to be seeing when the season starts and the level of competition," said Bruno. "Jenni Dant and Charlene Smith both still have a chance to make the WNBA. The people we were playing against were the people who put us where we are. We wouldn't have had the three successful seasons, that we just had, if it weren't for Jenni Dant and Charlene Smith. It was a very good test for us."

For the second straight game, the Blue Demons were without preseason All-American senior center Khara Smith, Charlene's cousin. Khara has been sidelined with plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the bottom of the foot. Smith is expected to play in DePaul's season opener vs. Harvard on Friday.

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