Smith Powers No. 14 DePaul Past Loyola

CHICAGO – Playing the first of two local road games in a three-day span, the No. 14 DePaul women's basketball team cruised to a 96-48 win at Loyola-Chicago on Tuesday night at the Gentile Center. Khara Smith led three players in double-figures with her eighth double-double of the season as the Blue Demons won their 15th straight contest against programs from the state of Illinois.

Following back-to-back baskets by Smith and two free throws by Claudette Towers, Marquise Hauser got the Ramblers on the board with a three-pointer at 17:12. A driving lay-up by Towers sandwiched by a pair of Allie Quigley jumpers pushed the Blue Demon lead to 13-5 forcing a time out by the home team.

After starting the game by hitting the first five of seven attempts, the Blue Demons cooled off and missed five of the next eight shots. In the process, the Ramblers trimmed the deficit to seven points at 22-15 with 11 minutes left in the first half.

Over the final six minutes of the first half, DePaul (11-1) opened up a 19-point lead that was capped by Erin Cattell's three-pointer in the right corner for a 42-23 advantage. Rachael Carney knocked down a free throw to finish the first period with a 48-27 DePaul advantage.

The second period saw DePaul methodically extend the lead to as high as 50 points. An 11-2 run over a three-minute span early in the second half put the Blue Demons up 61-32. Cattell's lay-up with 8:49 gave DePaul a 30-point advantage and Lauren Levine's baseline jumper pushed the advantage to 86-46 with 3:54 left on the clock.

Khara Smith finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds for her 62nd career double-double. Caprice Smith added 12 points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench while Quigley chipped in 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field. No player saw more than 21 minutes of action as head coach Doug Bruno used his entire 16-member roster.

Danielle Lonie led Loyola (0-10) with 10 points and five rebounds followed by Hanser with nine points. The Blue Demons forced the Ramblers into 36 turnovers and made 21 steals.

DePaul moves a little further north on Thursday for a 7 p.m. game at Northwestern. It's a homecoming of sorts for DePaul senior Suzanne Morrison as she played her first three seasons in Evanston and earned her undergraduate degree from Northwestern.

Game Notes: DePaul posted the 15th consecutive win over programs from the state of Illinois… the program has also won 29 of the last 30 against state schools… the 11-1 record matches the program's best start set by the 1985-86 and 2003-04 squads… DePaul is 61-3 over the last five-plus seasons when scoring at least 80 points… the 96 points marked the 25th game in the last two-plus seasons with at least 90 points… Khara Smith moved into second all-time with 761 field goals… DePaul leads the series, 29-9, with 12 straight victories… the program is also 96-30 all-time against programs from the Horizon League with 22 straight wins.

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