DePaul Announces Women's Hoops Schedule

CHICAGO - DePaul head women's basketball coach Doug Bruno announced today his program's 2009-10 schedule. The daunting slate could see the Blue Demons face 12 NCAA Tournament teams including three of the four Final Four teams during their 2009-10 campaign.

DePaul clashes with National Runner-Up Louisville in its BIG EAST Conference home opener while National Champion Connecticut visits McGrath Arena on Feb. 10.

"DePaul has always played one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the country and this year's non-conference schedule is no exception," Bruno said of his non-conference slate. "Local rivals are always more difficult challenges than normal games because the players all know each other and possess a fearlessness in their attack."

The non-conference schedule is highlighted with six home games at McGrath Arena including the Maggie Dixon Classic Nov. 20-21. The Classic is named after and honors former Blue Demon assistant coach Maggie Dixon, who died on April 6, 2006 of arrhythmia. Dixon's tragic death came three weeks after her first season as the head coach at Army which saw the Black Knights win the Patriot League Championship and make the program's first trip to the NCAA Championship. The Classic brings together Tennessee State, Cornell and Dixon's alma mater San Diego; it is also the third tournament to be named after the former Blue Demon assistant and Army head coach. Tennessee State and San Diego face off in the first game Friday night followed by DePaul and Cornell. The winners play on Saturday in the championship game following the consolation contest.

"Maggie Dixon will always be a special individual in the history of women's hoops and specifically DePaul Women's Basketball," Bruno said of his former assistant coach. "With Maggie's alma mater, The University of San Diego, coming to Chicago to compete in this year's tournament, the time is right to dedicate our tournament to Maggie Dixon's memory."

Prior to the Maggie Dixon Classic, DePaul begins its 2009-10 campaign by hosting Central Michigan and North Dakota State on Nov. 13 and 15, respectively. DePaul's home opener against Central Michigan will be part of a volleyball/women's basketball doubleheader. The Blue Demon volleyball team is scheduled to play USF at 6 p.m. and the women's basketball game will start approximately one hour after the conclusion of that contest.

After four home games to open the season, the Blue Demons hit the road for local games at Northwestern (Nov. 24), Northern Illinois (Nov. 28) and begin the month of December at NCAA qualifier Green Bay on Dec. 2.

The Blue Demons welcome UIC to Lincoln Park for the fourth annual DePaul Athletics Chicagoland Field Trip Day on Dec. 4. Field Trip Day is a DePaul athletics department initiative which brings inner-city elementary students to visit a college campus and to experience an intercollegiate basketball game. In the past three years, DePaul has provided buses and free admission to over 10,000 Chicagoland school children.

DePaul's final home game of the non-conference schedule is against Loyola-Chicago on Dec. 6. A week later the Blue Demons travel to California for a game at Final Four participant Stanford on Dec. 13.

"Stanford will enter the season as the No. 2 or No. 3 team in the country," Bruno commented on the Cardinals. "Playing Stanford on the road and then following up the Stanford road game with a three-game tournament in Las Vegas would be difficult under any circumstance."

Following the trip to California, DePaul returns to the West Coast six days later to participate in "Duel in the Desert" hosted by UNLV at Cox Arena. The Blue Demons open the eight-team tournament on Dec. 19 against WNIT participant Arkansas. The Razorbacks are the first of eight WNIT teams on the Blue Demons slate. Day two of the tournament could see DePaul face either NCAA qualifiers UT-San Antonio or Florida State. The championship game is slated for Dec. 21 with UNLV, Kansas State, Hawaii or VCU as possible opponents.

"When you add Arkansas (SEC), Florida State (ACC), and Kansas State (BIG XII) to the mix it makes the Vegas Tourney and our non-conference schedule all the more difficult," Bruno added.

The Blue Demons close out 2009 at Illinois State on Dec. 28, before beginning BIG EAST Conference play in January.

"What can you say about the BIG EAST," Bruno pondered. "With the rapid and vast improvement of what used to be the bottom teams in the BIG EAST Conference, the league is totally up for grabs chasing defending National Champ UConn. Our coaching staff refers to the Big East as 'The Beast that is The Big East'. The BIG EAST is truly the toughest league in the country.

DePaul begins its BIG EAST schedule at Rutgers on Jan 2. It is the second time since DePaul joined the league in 2005-06 that the Blue Demons and Scarlet Knights have tangled in the conference opener for both teams. DePaul returns to McGrath Arena on Jan. 5 when it welcomes National Runner-Up Louisville for the 26th meeting between the two programs.

After setting a single-game attendance record in Morgantown during the 2007-08 season the Blue Demons head to West Virginia for a Jan. 9 match up. DePaul returns to Chicago on Jan. 16th for a game with St. John's before hitting the road for contests at Seton Hall (Jan. 19) and Georgetown (Jan. 23).

The Blue Demons close out the month of January by hosting Cincinnati on 27th and rival Marquette for Hall of Fame Weekend on 31st.

The month of February begins with DePaul at Providence on 3rd before the Blue Demons welcome Villanova and 2009 National Champion Connecticut to Lincoln Park. Villanova, who qualified for the NCAA Championship is scheduled for Feb. 6 while the Huskies invade on Feb. 10.

The Blue Demons face two of their biggest rivals, back-to-back and on the road, Feb. 14 and Feb. 20. DePaul travels to Notre Dame for a Valentine's Day game then soars to Marquette for a return trip six days later.

The Blue Demons close out February by hosting Pittsburgh and Syracuse on the 23rd and 27th before ending the regular season at 2009 WNIT Champion USF on March 1.

All 16 league teams make the trip to Hartford for the BIG EAST Championship March 9-13.

DePaul hosts 13 games in Lincoln Park during the 2009-10 season. The Blue Demons hold a 106-19 (.848) record in nine seasons at McGrath Arena. Against non-conference opponents, DePaul is 51-5 (.910) while in BIG EAST action the Blue Demons hold a 21-8 (.724) record.

2009-10 Schedule

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