Women’s basketball set to be challenged in non-conference play


Alexa Sandler/The DePaulia

DePaul junior guard Lexi Held looks to go past a UConn defender on Sunday at Wintrust Arena.

The DePaul women’s basketball team has released its 2021-22 non-conference schedule, featuring five games against NCAA Tournament teams from last season and the Blue Demons taking part in the Paradise Jam.

The Blue Demons tip off the regular season at home against Texas Southern University on Nov. 9, following an exhibition game against Lewis University on Nov. 4.

The team will then take on two local rivals at Wintrust Arena early in the season, beginning with a game against Red-line rival Loyola University Chicago on Nov. 12.

DePaul will take a quick road trip to Texas A&M on Nov. 15, who finished with a 25-3 record last season,before coming back home to play against rival Northwestern University six days later.

Following the matchup against Northwestern, the team will travel to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam tournament over Thanksgiving. There, DePaul is set to open the tournament against Rutgers University with a Thanksgiving Day game on Nov. 25.

The next day, the Blue Demons will face the University of Arizona, who lost to Stanford by a point in the NCAA National Championship game last season. The Blue Demons conclude the tournament against Vanderbilt University on Nov. 27.

“One of the best ways to prepare your team is to challenge them with a rigorous non-conference schedule,” head coach Doug Bruno said in a statement to DePaul athletics. “This year’s version is extremely difficult with games against five teams that played in the NCAA tournament including the runner-up, Arizona.”

DePaul plays the University of Kentucky on the road on Dec. 9 before coming home to finish off the non-conference season at Wintrust Arena. There, the Blue Demons are set to battle Nicholls State University on Dec. 14 and Northern Illinois University on Dec. 16. The team is set to finish non-conference play against the University of Notre Dame on Dec. 22.

Bruno is entering his 36th season as head coach of the Blue Demons, who finished last season with an overall record of 14-10 and a record of 11-5 in conference play. A poor last month of the season saw DePaul miss out on the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 18 years.