DePaul vs. Tulsa Game Preview

Blue Demons Look For First Sweet Sixteen Berth Against the Golden Hurricane of Tulsa

2006 NCAA Championship Second Round - San Antonio Regional

No. 4 DePaul (26-6) vs. No. 12 Tulsa (26-5)

Allstate Arena - Rosemont, Ill.

Mar. 20, 2006 - 8 p.m.

Game Notes - Live Audio

TV: ESPN2 - Coverage Information

NCAA First/Second Rounds Information

ROSEMONT, Ill. - While Ray Meyer never coached the DePaul women's team, the former men's coach will continue to be in the Blue Demons' thoughts when they take on Tulsa in a second-round matchup of the San Antonio Regional on Monday night.

Fourth-seeded DePaul opened the NCAA tournament Saturday with a 68-43 rout of Liberty, a victory that came one day after the Meyer's death at age 92. He coached the men's team for 42 years and one of his players was Doug Bruno, now in his 20th season as DePaul's women's coach.

"It's hard to put into words. I've lost my sister and you go through these emotions -- you cry, you laugh, you remember the good times," said Bruno, who wore a piece of paper with the inscription "Thanks Coach Ray" hanging from his pocket Saturday. "You just think about how much coach meant to all of us."

Meyer's impact was also profound on the team Bruno coaches. DePaul's players wore a similar inscription on the sides of their shoes.

"We just know everything he meant to DePaul's program and this school as a whole," DePaul guard Allie Quigley said of Meyer. "We just know what he would've wanted us to do, we thought about that also. We had him in mind during the game."

DePaul avenged last season's second-round loss to Liberty, jumping out to a 21-5 lead eight minutes into the game. Khara Smith had 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Blue Demons, who dominated the boards against a Flames team that came in averaging 11.7 more rebounds than its opponents. DePaul outrebounded Liberty 47-26.

The Blue Demons are looking to avoid losing in the second round for the third straight year, and have the advantage of playing a second consecutive game at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill. While the women's team doesn't play there during the regular season, the venue is the home court for the men's team and is located 15 miles from the DePaul campus.

Tulsa (26-5), the No. 12 seed, will be looking to pull off another major upset after stunning fifth-seeded North Carolina State 71-61 on Saturday in the Golden Hurricane's first NCAA tournament game. Megan Moody had a team-high 20 points to lead four Tulsa players in double figures, and added eight rebounds.

"We weren't going to let ourselves be intimidated," said forward Emily Jaskowiak, who had 17 points. "I know a lot of people put hype on because it's our first NCAA appearance, but we knew it was just basketball."

Tulsa's program, reborn in 1996 after being disbanded in 1987, earned its first NCAA berth by winning the Conference USA regular-season and tournament championships under coach Charlene Thomas-Swinson. The Golden Hurricane had back-to-back 19-win seasons and WNIT appearances prior to this season.

"I'm just really pleased for our young ladies, the university and the city of Tulsa," Thomas-Swinson said. "I'm just really happy. We've been embraced by the city, fans and alumni. From midseason until now, we've had a great following. It does a lot for our university."

Monday's winner will play top-seeded LSU or No. 9 Washington in a regional semifinal Saturday.

Game Notes

Live Game Audio

ESPN2 Coverage Info.

NCAA First and Second Round Info.

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