Preview: DePaul to get in thick of conference season with a weekend road trip


Xavier Ortega | The DePaulia

Dee Bekelja goes for a floater in the second quarter. The Blue Demons shot 50 percent from the field in the second quarter.

Players and coaches know that the time from early November to March is a constant grind of games. DePaul women’s basketball likes to make sure that none of those months feel like cakewalks before going up against the Big East. With a win over rival Marquette on Dec. 29 to kick things off, the Blue Demons (11-2) will swing for the fences in two road games this weekend.

The first will see head coach Doug Bruno’s squad take on Providence (9-5) Friday night on FS2 at 5:30. Providence is currently 0-2 in conference play with road losses against Villanova and Georgetown last week. The Friars will be playing their first home conference game as the Blue Demons will be playing in their first road test.
Providence’s skill comes partially from 6’3 inside player Mary Baskerville, who took home Big East Freshman of the Year last season. Two other sophomores Kaela Webb and Kyra Spiwak make their mark in the backcourt.

DePaul continues to play with large expectations from Big East coaches who picked them to be the outright winner in the preseason coaches’ poll. Yet that poll was taken a long time ago, and the Blue Demons put together an impressive non-conference schedule where their only two losses were to the top three teams in the country, UConn and Oregon State. 

The Blue Demons are executing their “DePaulBall” style to a great extent. 88.5 points a game is top five in the nation, as they also average the second-most 3-pointers attempted (33.5) and made (11.7) per game. They are also sixth in the nation in steals per game at 13.4 swipes a game.
Pressure defense and a 3-point onslaught on offense define DePaul. And the players that define the Blue Demons are seniors Chante Stonewall and Kelly Campbell. Both are applauded for the effort that has gotten them in the national eye at their respective positions. 

The second game of the weekend is a Sunday 1 p.m. game at Creighton. The Blue Jays are currently 2-0 in Big East play with wins over Villanova and Georgetown. 

Creighton sees Jaylyn Agnew pace the scoring with 19.3 a game. The junior forward had 20 second-half points to lead the Blue Jays over Villanova last week. 

DePaul will look to improve on their 11-2 record with these two tests before returning home on Friday, Jan. 10 to face off against Seton Hall.