Women follow up dominating opener with loss to NIU


Lucas Paredes

Sophomore Aneesah Morrow dribbles upcourt in DePaul’s opener against American University.

The Blue Demons did not skip a beat Wednesday, with a 96-45 win over American University. DePaul women’s basketball showed glimpses of this season’s potential, as four players ended the season opener with double figures in the scoring column. 

DePaul jumped out to a 24-8 lead as the first quarter came to an end. They never looked back as they held their largest lead of the game of 51 points at the 2:51 minute mark of the fourth quarter. 

Wednesday’s win made DePaul 37-12 all-time in season openers. 

“You never know what you’re going to get when you open the season,” head coach Doug Bruno said. “You’re really excited for the season to start and you’ve watched your team in practice and you’re excited for what you’ve seen in practice, but you don’t know what’s going to happen until you hit the floor.”

Campaigning for another All-American season, sophomore Aneesah Morrow picked up where she left off from the 2021-22 season, leading the way in scoring for DePaul with 24 points. She shot an efficient 10-17 from the field to go along with eight rebounds and six steals. 

Morrow spoke about her preparation coming into the season and how she could build off last season’s performances. 

“Just stay focused, not being complacent,” Morrow said. “I feel that’s the biggest thing for me, throughout the summer staying focused and continuing to set goals on a daily basis.” 

For a team lacking size around the rim, Peoples, a 5-foot-10 guard, showed her versatility, recording her sixth career double-double and her first as a member of the Blue Demons. She finished the night with 14 points, 10 rebounds and a block. 

“I worked on my game a lot, but like coach Bruno, he believed in since 8th grade, this is what I’ve been able to do,” Peoples said. “Just be an all around player. Assist, get rebounds, score when needed, so I mean I did work a lot in the off-season, but honestly that’s just my game. Having a coach who believes in me, teammates who believe in me is what changed.”

As for Edwards, she struggled in her debut playing against her former team. Edwards was 0-5 on field goal attempts in her 22 minutes of play, showing signs that she is still adjusting to new roles on the team.

Three-point shooting through two games has been an issue for the Blue Demons throughout the season, but not for junior Darrione Rogers. Last season, Rogers shot 40% from three, making 62, which was second on the team. She was one of four players to get into double figures Wednesday, finishing with 18 points, while shooting 2-7 from three. 

The game plan never changed for DePaul, even with so many players down. The Blue Demons were aggressive on the boards, and creating second chance points played a large part in the Blue Demons win. 

Bruno and his team were also stout defensively, causing 31 turnovers and four blocks, which led to not only 32 points off turnovers, but 17 fast break points. 

Senior Keke Rimmer was finally back on the floor for DePaul. After missing her entire sophomore season in 2020 with an injury, she only appeared in 13 games last year as she was gaining her footing. 

Coming off the bench, Rimmer tied her career high with 13 points and achieved a career high with nine rebounds, as she was the main contributor to DePaul’s 34 bench points. 

It was a promising sight for the team last night when freshman guards Tara Daye and Zaria Hurston combined for 16 points off the bench. A potential increase in playing time for the two newcomers could be seen in future games as the team continues to get healthy. 

“Tonight was a game we could play the freshmen. They are going to have to play,” Bruno said. “It’s just a matter of how many at a time and how much.” 

Saturday’s game in DeKalb against the Northern Illinois Huskies exposed those turnovers, and the Blue Demons lack of defensive assignments. They were also tested offensively when their reliable players went quiet. 

DePaul was handed their first loss of the young season 86-79 against the NIU Huskies. After completely dominating the first quarter, it looked like they were going to run away with a win. 

Sophomore Aneesah Morrow scored the Blue Demons first seven points in 67 seconds, as DePaul finished the first quarter shooting 60% from the field and making a season-high five threes in a quarter. 

It all seemed to shift when graduate student guard Jade Edwards left the game midway through the first quarter. After driving to the basket, through a swarm of defenders, Edwards landed awkwardly and immediately fell to the floor in pain. No further information was released about the severity of the injury. 

NIU went on to out score DePaul in the remaining three quarters 65-48. The Huskies also took advantage of the three ball, pouring in 12, while the Blue Demons only made 4 the rest of the game. 

In the second half, head coach Doug Bruno schemed a full court press under the impression it would rattle the Huskies. It did the complete opposite. NIU was able to break through and continuously find open players at the three or under the basket, resulting in NIU taking their first lead of the game in that third quarter. 

The offense in the second half ran through the hands of juniors Kendall Holmes who finished with 15 points and Darrione Rogers with 21. The two kept DePaul afloat while Morrow was held scoreless in the third quarter. 

DePaul will look to get back in the win column when host Cleveland State Tuesday night for a 7:00 p.m. CST. 

Connect with Preston Zbrosczcyk: @PrestonZbroszc1 | [email protected]