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Rick Nixon, | December 22, 2020

Women's college basketball: DePaul is named's Team of the Week

Stanford's Tara VanDerveer reflects on her career after her record-breaking 1,099th win as a head coach

After coming up short in two earlier losses versus ranked opponents, the DePaul Blue Demons upset No. 9 Kentucky, then rolled to an easy win over Georgetown in earning Team of the Week honors.

In the 86-82 win over Kentucky on Dec. 16, DePaul’s five-guard attack produced five players in double figures accounting for 77 points. Sonya Morris led the way with 23 points followed by Deja Church with 18 points, five rebounds and three steals. Lexi Held finished with 12 points, five assists and four steals, while Dee Bekelja filled out the stat sheet with 12 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Freshman Darrione Rogers contributed 12 points. DePaul had its best shooting performance in the last three games going 34-of-68 (50 percent) from the field. The Blue Demons shot a respectable 39 percent from three-point range and forced 23 Kentucky turnovers.

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DePaul handed Kentucky’s (6-1) its first loss of the season. For the Blue Demons, it was the program’s first win over a Top 10 team since downing No. 8 Louisville 73-72 on the Cardinals' home court in the second round of the 2016 NCAA tournament. Earlier this season DePaul had come up short in tests against No. 13 Texas A&M (93-91) and No. 5 Louisville (116-75).

With the win, DePaul coach Doug Bruno reached a memorable milestone and one that resonates with him deeply after winning the 725th game of his illustrious career — surpassing legendary DePaul men's coach Ray Meyer whom Bruno played for as a Blue Demon guard.

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DePaul (4-2) maintained its momentum by opening BIG EAST Conference play with a 72-54 home win over Georgetown on Saturday in what was the Hoyas' first game of the season after dealing with COVID-19 issues. Bekelja led the way with a game-high 19 points, tying career highs with 12 rebounds and four steals. It was the second double-double of her career. Held contributed 16 points and was 7-for-7 at the free-throw line. Church had 10 points and set a career-high with five steals while Morris also scored 10 points. The Blue Demons set a season-high by forcing Georgetown into 32 turnovers.

DePaul's first BIG EAST road test comes against Creighton on Tuesday, Dec. 22.

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