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DePaul’s women crush Loyola 88-47 in Redline rivalry

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AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

AP

AP

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

David P. Stein, Contributing Writer

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The crowd noise at Wintrust Arena exhibited a noticeably higher pitch than usual on Monday when DePaul women’s basketball (6-2) played host to north-side rival Loyola University of Chicago (1-6).

This heightened tonal frequency stemming from spectators never faded, and that is thanks to the estimated 4,000 Chicago school children who were on hand as part of DePaul Athletics’ annual Field Trip Day who were treated to a dominant 88-47 victory for the home team.

Coming off the program’s best single-game defensive performance on Friday against Chicago State University, the Ramblers from Loyola stuck with the Blue Demons in the first quarter, but were simply unable to neutralize them any further once DePaul found its groove in the second quarter.

Head Coach Doug Bruno says it wasn’t that his players weren’t focused to start the game, they simply weren’t executing as well as they could have been.

“We weren’t unfocused to start the game, I think our team was really ready to play. I just don’t know that technically we were ready to take care of some small details when the game started,” said Bruno, whose players found themselves trailing 16-13 at the conclusion of the first quarter. “We left a lot of layups on the table early. I just didn’t think we were creating a tempo that we wanted, I thought we were playing into Loyola’s tempo.”

Although the game had an unusual start time of 11:00 a.m., neither his players or Bruno would ever consider using that to excuse their sluggish start.

“I really have no patience for any team, or even sometimes you hear coaches after games saying it’s harder to get your players ready at this time, and I really have no patience for that,” Bruno said. “When you make the NCAA tournament, they ask you to be prepared as early as 10 o’clock in the morning and as late as 9 o’clock at night. You don’t get to decide when you play, so if we’re preparing ultimately to play in the NCAA tournament, you’ve gotta be ready early and you’ve gotta be prepared late.”

Sophomore Kelly Campbell echoed her coach’s sentiments about using excuses.

“We’re a no excuses team, so whatever time the game is, we come out here and play our best. Basketball is basketball, no matter what time the game’s at. So it’s just a matter of coming with energy from the start,” Campbell said.

Campbell, who contributed 18 points against Loyola, was an active participant during DePaul’s second quarter charge and says she felt that once she and her teammates played with a more aggressive approach, they really hit their stride and the results followed.

“I think there was a change of pace. In the first quarter we slowed it down a little bit, then we started pressing and attacking more and we finally started making those layups,” Campbell said.

As a group, the Blue Demons cruised the rest of the way. In addition to Campbell, Amarah Coleman and Deja Cage each scored 15 points. Once the floodgates opened up, Bruno utilized his bench by deploying separate five-player rotations.

“I think it’s a fun way of playing because you’re going out there, you’re exhausting yourself, but you’re putting your whole self in. Which, you should do even without going five in and five out. The way (Bruno is) setting it up, is to really exhaust ourselves, just put it all on the court, rest up and be able to come back and do the same,” Coleman said.

Despite his team’s dominance in the second half where they outscored Loyola 53-22, Bruno gave a ringing endorsement to Ramblers Head Coach Kate Achter, as he felt her team was well-prepared and played with tremendous structure early on.

“Kate is doing a really excellent job. I thought they really did a great job defensively against us early in the game, and she really had her girls ready to play. I was really impressed with the grit that they showed to begin the game and early in the second quarter, so they did a really good job,” Bruno said.

The Blue Demons will spend the rest of this week preparing for No. 1 University of Connecticut at Wintrust Arena this coming Friday.

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DePaul’s women crush Loyola 88-47 in Redline rivalry