DePaul women’s basketball cruises by Saint Xavier 101-59 in exhibition game

Stifling defense and a 42-5 run in the first half gave DePaul enough cushion to cruise by the Saint Xavier Cougars 101-59 in the first exhibition game of the 2013-2014 season.

Three Blue Demons had 16 points each, while Saint Xavier sophomore Morgan Stuut led the scoring with 24 points in the blowout.

The Blue Demons started off the game sloppily, missing five out of their first six field goal shots and missing all three three-point attempts but held a two-point lead at the first timeout called by Saint Xavier with 16:29 to go in the half.

The Demons came out of the timeout looking better as Rogowski grabbed two quick baskets in the paint sandwiching a three-point shot Stuut. However, that changed quickly as the Cougars capitalized on several DePaul turnovers to take a four-point lead 14-10 with 14 minutes to go in the half.

The next two minutes was all DePaul with the Demons going on a 13-2 run, capitalized by the Demons’ first three point field goal of the evening, a deep three from Jessica January. She followed up with another three and the Demons held their largest lead of the game, up 23-16 at the 11-minute mark.

Saint Xavier’s fouls escalated as the half wore on, putting DePaul in the bonus with nine minutes to go in the half. At this point, the Demons had started to climb away from the Cougars, leading 30-19.  It would only be 90 seconds later before DePaul was in the double-bonus, their lead up to 36-19.

DePaul’s defense became stifling for the next several minutes. Sophomore Morgan Stuut made a three-point shot at the 10:15 mark, which would be the last points for the Cougars until there was 3:11 to go in the half. In the meantime, DePaul lit up the offensive side of the court, going up 52-19 before Saint Xavier scored again.

The two teams went into the half with DePaul leading 59-25. January led the scoring for DePaul at the half with 15 point, followed by Jasmine Penny tallying 12 at the half.  Morgan Stuut was providing most of the offense for the Cougars, scoring 15 points of her own. DePaul was winning the rebound battle 25-15 and was capitalizing on the Cougars’ 24 first half turnovers.

The Cougars came out firing in the second half, outscoring DePaul 11-7 in the first five minutes, five of those points coming for Stuut whose point total was up to 20. DePaul worked the next five minutes, however, going on an 11-2 run and extending their lead to 79-42 with 9:30 to go in the game.

The teams went back and forth for the rest of the half, DePaul slowly increasingly their lead. They hit the 100-point mark with 53 seconds to go off of a running basket from freshman ShaKeya Graves, who was fouled on the play. She hit the ensuing free throw shot to make the score 101-59, which would be the final score.

Head Coach Doug Bruno said that these exhibition games gave the coaches a chance to experiment with the lineups.

“We’re trying to figure out who plays best together,” Bruno said. “As the season goes on, we’ll get to see who plays better together and who can swing into what spot.”

Bruno spoke highly of the team’s performance tonight, especially senior forward Jasmine Penny, who scored 16 points in the game.

“I really think that Jasmine is really good and I think that she can have a really great year,” Bruno said. “She’s become a really important cog in what we’re trying to do this year.”

Penny said that the team did a good job of getting the ball to her but that she needs to do a better job of finishing the score.

“They did a good job of getting me the ball today,” Penny said. “But I know further on I need to finish to pay them back for throwing me the ball.”