Team effort helps Blue Demons bury Bison after Morrow leaves with knee injury


DePaul Athletics

Junior forward Darrione Rogers celebrates with teammates during DePaul’s win over Howard on Monday.

The stats on paper will show a 25-point blowout win with four players in double figures, but in DePaul’s 81-56 win over Howard on Monday, it was a grit and grind type of game for the Blue Demons. 

Wintrust Arena and DePaul women’s basketball hosted their annual Field Trip Day game. Since 2008, over 6,500 children from Chicago area schools have filled the seats for a DePaul basketball game. 

“It is just really a big deal for those children, to be able to get in here and watch college basketball,” said head coach Doug Bruno. “I can never speak to this, without talking about DePaul being one of the first – if not the first – sponsoring field trip day for kids.” 

Although the energy to start the game was high and in good spirits, that all quickly changed early in the second quarter when yet another Blue Demon player went down with injury.

Sophomore standout Aneesah Morrow left the game Monday, when a Howard player fell on Morrow’s right knee while both players were going for a loose ball. She was helped off the floor by her teammates, unable to place pressure on the knee, and was kept out for the rest of the game. 

With limited information on her status, Bruno said it looks like it will be something she will be able to return from. The head coach gave no details on her timetable, but said that she will return this season. 

From the start DePaul battled adversity and a tough Howard team made the Blue Demons work for baskets throughout the entirety of the game. 

After Morrow’s exit, players stepped up and contributed in every way possible. Senior Jorie Allen was thrown into the center role where she flourished. Allen had a career-high 21 points, shooting 10/11 from the field. 

“I wouldn’t say pressure, but more responsibility,” Allen said. “Just because I am the next big on the team and Aneesah and I go at it every day at practice. I am a capable player in the paint and I was just excited, but unfortunately you never want a teammate to go down, you never want to be in the position but we were able to get it done tonight and it was a team effort all the way around.” 

Senior Anaya Peoples recorded her second double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds. People played a part in DePaul’s 11 second-chance points. 

DePaul committed five more turnovers than the Bison in the game. There were a few too many unforced errors due to players wanting to make the home run pass instead of the simple one. 

While DePaul attempted many ill-advised passes, the Demons also had 25 assists, which accounted for 33 points as a team. This follows their 21 assists on Saturday against Northwestern. 

Nearly half of those assists Monday came from the playmaking that junior Darrione Rogers provided. She is just the sixth player in DePaul program history and the ninth so far this season in all of the NCAA to complete a triple-double. Rogers finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. 

“Offensively… I’m letting the game come to me, I’m not really trying to force any shots, just trying to play to my strengths,” Rogers said. “When I’m open, [I] just shoot the ball, if not, [I] move it. Today my teammates were able to knock down shots and give me the assist. When Aneesah went down I knew that we were going to need to rebound more and that’s something a lot of us did.”

Rogers continued her consistency from the field, with her strong shooting, to her playmaking abilities. With all the injuries Bruno and the Blue Demons have faced, Rogers has been a bright spot in taking the next step and becoming a more complete player. 

DePaul out-rebounded the Bison 53 to 37. Bruno said the team made an emphasis to focus on rebounding coming into Monday’s game. 

With no real information on Morrow and the severity of the injury to her knee, the upcoming schedule for the Blue Demons will likely be a tougher challenge. Georgetown comes into Chicago to face DePaul on Sunday Dec. 18, having won three straight with a 7-3 record. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:00 CST at Wintrust Arena.