Falling one game short of a sweep, DePaul goes 2-1 in Fort Myers, Fla. as the schedule shifts to Big East play


Chris Tilley | DePaul Athletics

Sophomore forward Aneesah Morrow drives past a Pitt defender in DePaul’s win over the Panthers on Saturday.

FORT MYERS, Fla. – After what looked to be a season headed in the wrong direction, DePaul women’s basketball picked up a win over No. 14 ranked Maryland and Pittsburgh, as the schedule now shifts to Big East play. 

Head coach Doug Bruno had his players well-prepared as his team headed out to play in the Elevance Health Fort Myers tip-off, where they opened the weekend against their first top-25 ranked opponent in No.14 Maryland. 

Five players finished in double figures in the 76-67 win against the Terrapins Friday night. Seniors Jorie Allen and Keke Rimmer both had double-doubles, as they combined for 25 rebounds. 

Sophomore Aneesah Morrow, who was named Fort Myers Tip-off MVP averaging 20.3 ppg, 14.0 rpg with three double-doubles, led the team in scoring with 22 points, to go along with 10 boards. 

DePaul outshot Maryland from three, going 11-30 and only allowing six from their opponent. The Blue Demons led for the majority of the game and had their biggest lead in the second quarter at 13 points. 

This was the second straight showing from DePaul where they seemed to stay on the defensive game plan and not allow for the three-point shot or careless turnovers to allow the Terrapins back in the game. 

It was the first time this season that DePaul not only put up double-digit bench points, but also outscored their opponents in bench points. The Blue Demons had a 25-13 point advantage from non-starters in the battle against Maryland. 

Rimmer looks to be the Blue Demons vital sixth person off the bench, and in her first healthy season back from injury, she recorded a 13 point, 12 rebound game and looks like she is finding her rhythm. 

After two of the biggest wins of the season against the No.14 team in the country and Miami (FL) DePaul looked to continue their two game win streak against Pittsburgh. 

In the 1 p.m. CST tip-off Saturday, The Blue Demons went right back to work against another ACC team. 

The Pittsburgh Panthers came into Saturday’s game yet to surrender a loss on the season, entering 5-0; DePaul had their work cut out from them again. 

DePaul arguably had their best defensive performance in the 74-59 win against the Panthers. The Blue Demons came up with 12 steals and 7 blocks and held Pitt to only 59 total points, the second lowest amount given up on the season. 

Morrow assured her dominance on the boards this game as she tallied 16 of DePaul’s 52 team rebounds. 

Junior Kendall Holmes had a season-high 21 points as she went 5-6 from three. Holmes has proved to be one of the more reliable shooters on the team and has thrived in her increased role with the injuries to the guard positions. 

Holmes was selected to the Fort Myers Tip-off All-Tournament Team, averaging 15.7 ppg, making 11 threes and shooting 62.5 percent in the field in the three game span. 

The Blue Demons added to the first win streak of the season, and in a stretch of three games, were able to turn a 1-2 start into a 4-2 record. The three wins came against teams that will likely be competing for a spot in the NCAA Tournament come March. 

DePaul looked for the weekend sweep, as they wrapped up their stay in Fort Myers against a dangerous Towson team from the Colonial Athletic conference. 

But the potent Blue Demons offense was put on pause Sunday. A season-low 56 points was not enough to get past the Towson Tigers in a 64-56 loss. 

Against teams in the power five conferences, DePaul is getting the job done, but against mid-majors, DePaul seemingly plays down to its opponent’s level and falls short. 

That was the case against Towson on Sunday in the loss. DePaul has averaged 80 points a game this season behind the nation’s leading scorer Aneesah Morrow. Finding a second option for this team has been by committee, as players seem to be taking turns providing their share of scoring. 

Morrow had her worst production yet, scoring just 16 points, while shooting 6-20 from the field. Having played three games in three days may have left the team fatigued against Towson. 

It’s tough to win when shooting just 34% from the field and 24% from three.. DePaul’s three-game win streak was stopped, but in all, it was a positive trip that the Blue Demons should take confidence from as Big East play arrives. 

Bruno and his team will have a week to prepare for Butler, as they travel to Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana Sunday Dec. 4, to play in their first Big East game of the season. 

The two teams will head into the match with similar records as the Bulldogs were also unfortunate in dropping back-to-backs to open the season. 

Tip-off on Sunday is scheduled for 1 p.m. CST, as DePaul (4-3) looks to keep to its winning ways against Butler, after sweeping the Bulldogs in both meetings last season.