DePaul Sweeps Exhibition Doubleheader

At McGrath Arena tonight, the Blue Demons men's and women's basketball teams each defeated their respective opponents in their final exhibition games before the start of the 2008-09 regular season.

Women's Game – DePaul Blue Demons 107, University of Chicago Maroons 51 - Balanced Attack Leads DePaul Over U. of Chicago

The DePaul women's basketball team gave coach Doug Bruno a win on his birthday. The University of Chicago Maroons were not invited to the party.

Deirdre Naughton scored 21 points to lead six players in double figures as the Demons overwhelmed the Maroons 107-51 Friday night at McGrath Arena.

The Demons jumped out to a 17-0 lead with 5:00 gone in the first half. The Maroons were held without a field goal until 11:03 remained in the half. A jumper by Rachel Pierson extended the first half lead to 44-15 with 5:15 left.

The Maroons shot 7% from the field in the first half.

All of DePaul's starters scored in double figures. The Demons got 17 points and seven rebounds from Natasha Williams, 13 points from Sam Quigley, 12 points and seven boards from Felicia Chester, and 11 points from freshmen Keisha Hampton. Fellow freshman Courtney Webb added 11 points off the bench.

"Our starting lineup tonight was pretty solid. I think we pretty much understand that Deirdre, Natasha, and Felicia are going to start for sure," said Bruno. "The other two starters are still open. Sam Quigley gives us that extra guard but, we also experimented in the second half with a larger lineup with Taylor (Pikes) and Keisha on the floor together."

A three pointer by Webb with 2:34 left to play pushed DePaul over the century mark at 101-49. DePaul led by as many as 56 points in the second half.

Alex Leach led the Maroons with 14 points.

The Demons kick off the regular season when they travel to Albuquerque to play Idaho State on November 15 in the Basketball Travelers Tip-Off Tournament.

"I still believe this team can be really good but there are still a lot of unanswered questions such as how are the freshmen going to adapt to lights-on Division I competition," said Bruno.

Men's Game - DePaul Blue Demons 66, Lewis Flyers 53

It was the Darquavis Tucker show in the second game, as the high-flying sophomore scored 25 points to lead all scorers. Dar grabbed five rebounds, recorded two steals and two assists in 29 minutes of play. Tucker shot nine of 15 from the field and five of eight on three pointers.

Tucker also got it done on the defensive end as he was assigned the task of guarding Lewis' leading scorer Jason Genova. Genova was held to 15 points. "I wanted to make a statement," Tucker said. "You've got to play defense and try to win games."

"This is the best week of practice that (Tucker) has had since he's been at DePaul," said Blue Demons coach Jerry Wainwright. "The best thing he does is pass the basketball. His handle has improved. He's had a really good offseason. He's got to be an energy guy, that's what he does. I thought he made really good decisions tonight."

"I'm very confident that what he does best is get his teammates involved," Wainwright said. "Because he does have an inside-outside game."

It was a tale of two halves as the Blue Demons dominated the first half and led 45-21 at intermission. The Flyers chipped away at the DePaul lead in the second half and closed to within 11 at the 10:23 mark. They would get no closer as the Blue Demons prevailed down the stretch.

It was point guard by committee for the Demons as senior Jabari Currie started, while freshmen Mike Bizoukas (8 points) and Jeremiah Kelly handled the majority of the ball handling chores for DePaul. "Jeremiah is in a little bit of a shooting slump right now, but he took really good shots," Wainwright observed. "I thought Mike took it to the basket, the way that you're supposed to. Both of them defended really well. Together I think they will really help us at that position."

Currie was second on the team in scoring for DePaul with 12 points. Junior guard Will Walker scored seven points, but struggled shooting going three of 10 from the field. Sophomore big man Mac Koshwal grabbed eight rebounds and scored four points.

Senior forward Matija Poscic appeared to be 100% recovered from his injuries last season as he put in 28 minutes scoring six points and snared three rebounds. "He's just a couple moves away," said Wainwright. "He was really active."

Improvement on defense has been a focus for DePaul this season. The Demons held the Flyers to 39.3% from the field and 15.4% shooting from behind the arc.

DePaul now has 10 days to prepare for their season opener at McGrath Arena on the 17th against the University of Albany Great Danes.

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