Aneesah Morrow dominates in DePaul’s season-opening win over Texas Southern


Maddy Maes

Freshman Aneesah Morrow chasing after a loose ball against Lewis.

It was a special night at Wintrust Arena on Tuesday. WNBA champion Allie Quigley got honored by DePaul. The Blue Demons dismantled Texas Southern 114-71. And Aneesah Morrow put on one the most impressive performances by a DePaul freshman in recent history. 

The night began with the Blue Demons celebrating Quigley, who played college basketball in Lincoln Park from 2004-08. Joining Quigley in the pre-game celebrations was Sky owner Michael Alter, head coach James Wade, DePaul head coach Doug Bruno and athletic director DeWayne Peevy. The five of them took a picture with the WNBA trophy at mid-court. 

“Thanks for taking a chance on me,” Quigley said. “A little skinny, little girl, an hour away from Joliet. I feel so much love tonight, and it’s amazing just to be able to be back here on this championship floor and see so much blue and red here and so much love.”

On the court, DePaul dominated from the first minute to the last. Texas Southern scored the first basket of the game, but the Blue Demons would engineer a 14-0 run in the following two minutes. 

The story of the night, however, was Morrow — a freshman from Chicago — who started in her first career college basketball game. She scored 12 points on 6-of-6 shooting in the first quarter. It didn’t take long for Morrow to adjust to playing in college versus in high school.

“The hardest part is just college basketball is a lot quicker than high school,” she said. “So it was just really the speed of the game.”

It wasn’t until midway of the second quarter when Morrow would miss her first shot. She made her first nine shots of the game. Texas Southern had no answers for DePaul’s center, with Morrow ending the night with 31 points, nine rebounds, four steals and three blocks. 

“I mean, that might be the best freshman performance in DePaul history,” Quigley said. 

Morrow was only three field goals (19) and 12 points (43) away from setting two new school records. 

“We are excited about what Aneesah brings to our team,” Bruno said. “She’s a really, really talented player, and she has a great future ahead of her.”

Allie Quigley raises the WNBA trophy before DePaul’s season-opening win over Texas Southern. (Donald Crocker)

Morrow continued her dominance over Texas Southern in the latter stages of the first half, including a sequence where she blocked two shots in the span of five seconds and then converted a layup on the other end. 

The Blue Demons’ size advantage over the visitors allowed them to attack the paint more than usual. DePaul finished the game with 74 points in the paint, while only attempting 12 3-pointers on the night.

DePaul held Texas Southern to only nine points in the second quarter. Morrow, on her own, scored 14 in the quarter, including nine of the team’s last 11 points to close the half. 

The Blue Demons’ defense wasn’t as strong in the third quarter, allowing 20 points, but the offense continued scoring at a high level. DePaul scored 30 points in the quarter on 11-of-16 shooting. 

“So, there’s still a lot we have to work on,” Bruno said. “I mean, people from Texas Southern went around us pretty much at will.”

Morrow only ended up scoring four points in the second half, but she sat out the entire fourth quarter with DePaul holding a sizable advantage.

Guard Deja Church also had a strong showing on opening night, scoring 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting and dishing out five assists. The bench also provided a boost Tuesday night, with guard Dee Bekelja adding 17 points and freshman forward Kaitlyn Ammons scoring her first eight college points.

On a night that honored Quigley achievements in the WNBA, DePaul got off to a strong start to begin the 2021-22 season. The Blue Demons are back in action on Friday when they host Loyola Chicago at Wintrust Arena.

“They were awesome, and just like DePaul-ball fashion, scoring so many points,” Quigley said. “I knew it was going to be a good night for them and it was exciting.”