DePaul Women Steamroll Southern Illinois

CHICAGO- It was Field Trip Day this Friday as a full house of Chicagoland elementary school students got a chance to see the DePaul women's basketball team take on the Southern Illinois Salukis at McGrath Arena. The students probably gave the Demons a grade of A+.

After being beaten by two-time defending NCAA champion Tennessee the prior Sunday, DePaul (6-2) showed it learned its lesson and defeated SIU 85-42.

"For them to transfer what we learned at Tennessee and transfer it here to this game was very important," said DePaul head coach Doug Bruno.

DePaul's inside-outside combination of centers Natasha Williams and Rachel Pierson and guard Deirdre Naughton combined for 39 points and 18 rebounds in the first half as the Demons took a 52-23 lead at the break. Pierson scored 10 points and had five rebounds in 11 first half minutes.

"We have been trying to get inside-outside balance ever since Khara Smith graduated," said Bruno. "

Up 25-15, DePaul went on a 10-1 run to open up a 33-15 advantage with 6:24 left in the half.

The Demons started the second half with an 8-0 run capped by Keisha Hampton's lay up to push the lead to 60-23. A lay up by Deanna Ortiz with 1:46 remaining gave DePaul its biggest lead at 85-41.

Williams finished with 16 points, seven boards, and continually frustrated the Saluki's leading scorer Katrina Swingler on the defensive end. Swingler finished with just two points and fouled out with 14:57 left in the contest.

"Natasha has done a great job defensively this year," said Bruno. "She is grabbing that role of our defensive stopper. She has been giving us defense for 94 feet of the floor."

Naughton finished with 17 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. Pierson finished with 18 points. DePaul blocked six shots in the contest.

Erica Smith led SIU with 11 points, their only player in double figures. The Saluki's shot 23% from the field for the game, were outrebounded 53-30, and committed 23 turnovers.

SIU falls to2-3.

DePaul last lost to an Illinois school on 12-4-2002, and has now won 32 games in a row against state programs. The Demons play five of their next six games against Illinois competition starting with a televised game at Loyola this Sunday.

We Are DePaul Top Stories