DePaul women’s basketball blows Saint Xavier away in exhibition 119-58


(Maggie Gallagher / The DePaulia)

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While the game may not have technically counted in their overall season record, DePaul’s women’s basketball team was able to showcase their guard depth and fast and physical defense, defeating Saint Xavier 119-58.

Junior guard Chanise Jenkins led the game with 20 points scored while senior guard Brittany Hrynko just behind her with 18 points. Overall, six DePaul players had double-digit point totals.

“I thought our players were a lot better today than they were in our intra-squad scrimmage the other day,” head coach Doug Bruno said. “We still have a lot of work to do before we are ready for the Maggie Dixon tournament.”

The Blue Demons jumped out to an early lead when Jessica January sank a ten-foot fade-away jump shot seconds into the game and never looked back. By the first media timeout, just under fifteen minutes to go in the first half, DePaul had already run out to a 20-7 lead with Hrynko putting up nine points. That would be the start of a 15-0 run that saw the Blue Demons grab a 31-7 lead over the next few minutes of the half.

DePaul would close the half with another 19-4 spurt, going up on Saint Xaiver 61-23 at the break. By this point, Bruno was rotating his squad and some of the freshmen were starting to see their first game action in a DePaul uniform.

The second half featured more of the same domination from the Blue Demons, although with more of a focus on the bench players getting playing time. Freshmen Ashton Mellinder and Lauren Prochaska got some quality minutes, scoring eight and ten points respectively. Only freshman forward Elri Libenberg had less than five minutes of playing time.

DePaul would hit the century mark with 5:50 to go in the game before adding another 19 points in the waning moments of the game. DePaul finished with the huge margin of victory, akin to their large victories in the 2013 exhibition games.

This game gave an idea of what the starting lineup may look like for the opening game against Texas A&M Nov. 14. Hrynko, Jenkins and sophomore Jessica January filled out the guard roles while junior forward Megan Podkowa got the call inside. Freshman forward Mart’e Grays started inside with Podkowa, scoring six and collecting five rebounds in her debut.

“Mart’e is a classic freshman,” Bruno said. “She has a lot of talent but you can’t inject or fast-forward experience.

Chanise Jenkins said that the team’s performance was good but that she didn’t want to run the risk of feeling satisfied with the performance.

“I guess you could say we’re happy but we can never be satisfied or complacent with the way we’re playing,” she said. “I think we did a great job of taking shots we’re capable of making.”

Hrynko was happy with the way that the guards were able to move the ball and get each other open.

“I thought we did a good job running the floor,” she said. “Chanise did a good job of hitting me when I was open, and we hit each when other one of us was open.”

DePaul has one more exhibition Nov. 6, taking on Robert Morris at McGrath-Phillips Arena before opening up their non-conference schedule against Texas A&M Nov. 14 as part of the Maggie Dixon Classic. Texas A&M eliminated DePaul in last season’s Sweet 16.