Anna Martin scored a season-high 30 points and Jasmine Penny added a season-high tying 22 points as the DePaul Blue Demons beat Milwaukee 94-83 on DePaul’s annual Field Trip Day.
DePaul, coming off playing in front of the largest crowd ever to see a Kentucky women’s basketball game on Friday, had its own raucous faithful at McGrath-Phillips Arena Tuesday afternoon.
Field Trip Day offers a chance for DePaul to provide free busing and game tickets to children from the city and surrounding suburbs. The program is now in its sixth year, and the Blue Demons continued their undefeated Field Trip Day streak.
“This is always a great game to play because of DePaul reaching out to our community,” said DePaul coach Doug Bruno. “I know when I was 10 or 11 years old I would have loved to have gotten out of school and gone to a ballgame. What separates DePaul’s Field Trip Day from [other schools’ Field Trip Day] is that DePaul pays for everything.”
“[Field Trip Day] is one of my favorite games to play at DePaul,” said Martin. “It’s so much fun to hear the fans screaming and to hear the kids sing along to every song.”
And Martin had them screaming early.
DePaul (7-3) was down 5-0 at the 19:00 mark when Martin hit back to back three-pointers and added a three-point play on consecutive possessions.
“Offensively it has taken me a little while this year to get my legs under me and my conditioning has part to do with that too,” said Martin. “But I need to get back to where I was defensively last year, and I will.”
Milwaukee (4-6), having played Wisconsin, Georgia Tech, Michigan State, and having beaten Bradley 116-112 in double overtime, was led by Angela Rodriguez’s 30 points including 6-12 from behind the arc.
The Panthers set a visiting-team McGrath-Phillips Arena record with 14 three-pointers.
“Wisconsin-Milwaukee is a great three point shooting team, and yet I can’t still sit here and condone some of the lack of defensive play by our basketball team,” said Bruno.
DePaul went on a 24-9 late in the first half only to see Milwaukee close the half on a 8-0 to trail 41-34 at the break.
“We might have been able to get away with that today, but we are not going to be able to get away with that in the Big East,” said Bruno.
Penny and Katherine Harry (eight points, eight rebounds, and four assists) both consistently knocked down 12-15 foot jumpers, with Penny shooting 11-17 from the field to go along with eight rebounds. Penny was coming off a team-high 16 points in the loss to Kentucky.
“Teams have started not to guard Jasmine or Katherine at the free throw line,” said Bruno. “Both of them can knock down those type jumpers and they did that today.”
“The coaches have been on me about passing up open shots, so today I shot every time I was open,” said Penny.
Harry’s backdoor pass to a cutting Penny gave DePaul a 50-36 lead in the second half.
DePaul tied a season-high with 24 assists.
Kelsey Smith added two points, five rebounds, and three steals for DePaul’s post play.
And with the numerous call-and-response play between the announcer and the fans, Martin and Rodriguez engaged in their own call and response midway through the second half.
Rodriguez’s jumper cut the DePaul lead to 62-54 with 11:16 left, but Martin answered with a baseline floater and a three-point play.
The Blue Demons’ guard play continues to be superlative this year.
Chanise Jenkins, coming off a career-high 10 rebounds against Kentucky, scored five points, had eight rebounds, dished out a team-high tying seven assists, and had a team-high four steals.
Brittany Hrynko scored 14 points and also had seven assists for DePaul.
Megan Rogowski’s (11 points) touch pass to Hrynko on a fast break gave the Blue Demons a 75-57 lead with 8:46 left to play.
“Every one of our wins has been a tough win, and every one of our opponents is going to win between 18-25 games,” said Bruno.
He said of his own team, “They will make me like them as a team when they start defending and when they start rebounding.”
DePaul stays home to play Northern Illinois this Saturday at 7:00 p.m. CST.
- Kelsey Reynolds and Megan Podkowa again did not dress for DePaul.
- The Blue Demons are now 4-0 versus Milwaukee.
- DePaul has won 17 straight games against Illinois schools.
- DePaul’s losses this year (Dayton, South Carolina, and Kentucky) are to teams in the Associated Press Top 25, and the teams have a combined record of 28-1.