DePaul Women Rout No. 14 Louisville

DePaul Women Rout No. 14 Louisville

CHICAGO- Former DePaul basketball player Khara Smith was sitting in the fifth row behind the DePaul bench at Tuesday night's game versus Louisville. After the game, current DePaul players Katherine Harry, Brittany Hrynko and Deanna Oritz might well have had lots to talk about with Smith.

Harry, Hrynko and Ortiz put up career nights as DePaul beat the No. 14/12 Cardinals 86-61 at McGrath-Phillips Arena.

DePaul coach Doug Bruno talked in last week's Big East conference call about how his team needed to learn how to finish games. Tonight's game was more starting than finishing.

The Blue Demons jumped out to a 17-2 lead, never trailed, and handed the Cardinals their worst point loss this year.

Harry grabbed six rebounds in the first six minutes on her way to a career-high 20 rebounds. Her total is a new McGrath-Phillips Arena rebounding record, and she is the first Blue Demon to grab 20 boards since three-time All-America Smith did so against LSU in 2006.

Harry leads the Big East in rebounding at 9.8 per game.

"We have been talking about how important it is to control the defensive rebounding in games down the stretch," Harry said. "That is something I have been trying to focus on. If you get in a rut on offense, there is always rebounding."

No offensive rut tonight for Harry.

She scored 14 points to give her two consecutive double-doubles.

Harry's six assists are also a new career high. Her four blocked shots move her past Felicia Chester and into fourth place on DePaul's career blocked shots list.

DePaul led 53-24 on a three-pointer by Hrynko, but the Cardinals went on a 14-6 run to cut the lead to 59-38. The Blue Demons answered with a Kelsey Reynolds jumper, a Hrynko lay up and a Megan Rogowski (11 points, six rebounds and three assists) lay up to balloon the lead up to 65-38.

Hrynko had a stellar evening, with a career-high six steals to go along with 18 points and six assists.

Her defensive philosophy was simple.

"I was trying to anticipate their offense and just went for the ball.

Ortiz, held scoreless in first half, sank two three-pointers in the second half. Her three-pointer with 5:40 to play gave DePaul its biggest lead at 77-47. Ortiz' seven assists are a career-high.

The Cardinals' Shoni Schimmel, Becky Burke and Bria Smith came in averaging a total of 36 ppg, but the trio was held to a combined 23 points.

Schimmel finished with 14 points, but Anna Martin held her to just five first half points.

"Anna Martin is a much better defensive player than people give her credit for," said Bruno. "She has become a much better defensive player than she ever was as a freshman or a sophomore."

Martin's 19 points were a game-high.

DePaul, fourth in the Big East in three-point field goal percentage at 35 percent, shot 40 percent from behind the arc tonight (10-25), and also scored 38 points in the paint.

"I believe very strongly in the post system that we teach here," Bruno said. "It has been proven through the years with players like Khara Smith. It is a system that I developed, but it is being taught by [assistant coach] Bart Brooks. I think Bart does a great job as a post teacher and he is the one who coaches them every day."

Brooks' teaching has led to the emergence this year of Jasmine Penny.

Penny, who averaged 2.6 minutes per game as a freshman last year, played 29 minutes tonight and scored 14 points on 6-8 shooting. She is seventh in the Big East in field goal percentage at 55 percent. Penny is a player who Bruno believes is "starting to emerge as a real live, flesh and blood post player."

DePaul (17-6, 5-4 Big East) shot 50 percent (32-64) from the field and had a season-high 26 assists.

The Blue Demons travel to play No. 2 Notre Dame this Sunday at noon. The game will be carried on ESPNU.

Notes:

- This week, DePaul fell out of the AP Top 25 poll for the first time this year.

- Felicia Chester, a member of DePaul's Sweet Sixteen team last year, was in attendance.

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