DePaul Women Outrun NIU Huskies

CHICAGO- If the DePaul women's basketball team soon gets everyone on the same page, the team should be able to tell a beautiful story come Big East time.

The Demons continued toward those goals by putting four players in double figures to beat the Northern Illinois Huskies 83-70 at McGrath Arena Thursday night.

"We are poised to be a very good basketball team, but we have much improvement to make," said DePaul head coach Doug Bruno. "We have made progress, but we have to make a lot more progress before January 3rd (the start of the Big East schedule).

The Demons' Deirdre Naughton concurred with her coach.

"There are so many little things that we need to work on. Once we put it all together I think we are going to surprise people, but for right now we have to get the little things cleared up. If not, we are going to go into the Big East and probably stumble more than we think."

DePaul never trailed in this game, and with 10:02 left in the first half the Demons went on a 10-0 run to open up a 30-19 lead. A three-pointer by freshman Danielle Havel gave DePaul a 37-23 lead with 5:52 left in the half. A lay up by the Huskies Shari' Welton closed the gap to 43-33 at the break.

DePaul got 16 points each from Natasha Williams and Naughton. Williams pulled down seven rebounds.

Freshman Keisha Hampton scored 13 points, had seven rebounds, and four assists for the Demons. Fellow freshman Deanna Ortiz scored six points. Havel finished with five points and seven rebounds.

Bruno spoke about the play of his freshmen.

"Keisha made some findings tonight about how you find yourself within the team concept. Danielle is one of those sneaky, very good players. She doesn't jump off the page at you but she gets her hands on a lot of balls and she is an intelligent player. Havel and Deanna are the freshmen who have made the most progress in practice."

The Huskies leading scorer, Ebony Ellis, was averaging 11.1 ppg and 10.2 rpg coming into this contest. She was held to three points in the first half and five points overall on 2-5 shooting. She grabbed six rebounds. Ellis picked up her third foul with 18:16 left to play in the game.

The Huskies 43-41 rebounding edge was not enough to overcome 21 turnovers.

NIU (3-7) was led by Jessie Wilcox with 12 points. Becky Smith added 11 points off the bench.

DePaul has now won the last 15 meetings between the two teams.

The Demons next play Monday night at UIC to face the Flames.

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