Naughton Leads DePaul in Exhibition Opener

CHICAGO- DePaul's Deirdre Naughton picked up where she left off last year. Naughton, an honorable mention Big East selection last year, led the Demons with 22 points as DePaul defeated St. Xavier 87-61 Friday night at McGrath Arena in the exhibition opener for both teams.

Deirdre Naughton led three players in double figures as the Demons shot 45% from the floor for the game.

St. Xavier, ranked 13th in the country in NAIA this year, had its only lead at 9-8 with 3:00 gone in the first half. A jumper by Blue Demon freshman Courtney Webb with 10:45 left to play in the half put the Demons up 22-12. A jumper by the Cougar's Erin Hannemann cut the lead to 38-24 with 1:48 to play in the half but Naughton answered with a 3-pointer followed by a layup to put DePaul up 43-26 at the half.

"She is a special player," said DePaul coach Doug Bruno of Naughton. "People might not really realize that. She is just a very good basketball player. She is a very consistent player and a key player for us."

Natasha Williams scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds for DePaul. Freshman Keisha Hampton chipped in with 10 points and four rebounds.

"Hampton is a multi-dimensional player. She is the freshman most ready to play. She came off the bench first tonight. She could end up starting for us," said Bruno.

The Demons reached their largest lead at 69-42 on a Rachel Pierson lay up with 12:16 left to play in the contest.

St. Xavier was out rebounded 60-31 and outscored 56-26 in the paint as Williams, Hampton, and Felicia Chester dominated inside.

The Cougars were led by Kathlyn McClain's 19 points. Hannemann, an All-America selection last year, scored 14 but was held to four points in the second half.

The Demons continue the exhibition portion of their schedule on Friday, November 7th when they host the University of Chicago at McGrath Arena as part of a doubleheader with the men's basketball team.

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