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Blue Demons rout James Madison in NCAA Tournament opener

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Blue Demons rout James Madison in NCAA Tournament opener

DePaul used hot three-point shooting to rout James Madison.

The Blue Demons made 11 three-pointers to rout the 11th-seeded Dukes, 97-67, on Friday in the first round of the NCAA women's Tournament.

Jessica January led sixth-seeded DePaul with 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Jacqui Grant added 15 points and nine rebounds. The Blue Demons shot an impressive 52 percent from beyond the arc (11 of 21) and 54 percent from the field (37 of 69).

DePaul (26-8) made 8-of-13 first-half threes and shot 22-of-36 (61 percent) from the field to lead 55-30 at the break. They were season highs for both points and field goal percentage in the first 20 minutes.

"I think everyone came out so focused," guard Chanise Jenkins said. "We were energized and competitive."

Ashley Perez led James Madison (27-6) with 20 points and Jazmon Gwathmey added 19. The loss ended a 20-game winning streak for the Dukes.

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James Madison entered the game leading the nation in 3-point field goal defense (23 percent).

A slow start doomed the Dukes, who hit just 4-of-18 shots in the opening quarter. DePaul used a 10-0 run in less than two minutes to take a 15-6 lead midway through the first quarter and led 27-14 after one quarter.

DePaul's eighth three-pointer capped a 9-0 run in less than two minutes that gave the Blue Demons their biggest first-half lead at 28 with 2:15 left. They made four threes in each of the first two quarters as six players connected from behind the arc.

"The system is fantastic," James Madison coach Kenny Brooks said of DePaul. "It reminds me a lot of like the LA Clippers. They set a lot of ball screens and you're one or two seconds behind and they were throwing it up. It's really hard. You pick your poison what you want to take away."

DePaul stretched their lead in the second half, with a layup from Jenkins, the Big East player of the year, extending the advantage to 35 at 8:01 left.

TIP-INS

DePaul: The Blue Demons entered as the nation's seventh-best scoring team at 81 points a game. Their previous high for first-half points (54) and field goal shooting (60 percent) this year was against Providence on Jan. 24. This is DePaul's 14th straight NCAA appearance and the team has reached the second round in six of the last seven seasons.

James Madison: The Dukes shot 31 percent (22 of 72).  DePaul's 55 points in the first half tied for the most points JMU gave up this season. Colonial Athletic Association freshman of the year Kayla Cooper-Williams added a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

FOUNDATION OF SHARING

DePaul had 24 assists on 37 field goals, better than their 21 per game average.

"I think it's the foundation, the essence of what basketball is all about: sharing and sharing and sharing," Doug Bruno said. "It's really the only offensive goal we have is to lead the nation in assists."

The Blue Demons rank second behind only top-ranked Connecticut in assists per game.

EMOTIONAL EXIT

Gwathmey, the CAA's player of the year, fouled out with 5:48 left in the game. She left the game in tears, consoled on the sideline by her coach.

"To go out with these girls, I couldn't ask for a better team to go out on," said the senior who averaged more than 20 points a game.

UP NEXT

DePaul: Plays winner of Louisville-Central Arkansas on Sunday.

James Madison: Season over.

DePaul extends contract of women's basketball head coach Doug Bruno through 2023-24

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USA TODAY

DePaul extends contract of women's basketball head coach Doug Bruno through 2023-24

One of the icons of DePaul athletics is sticking around.

Monday, DePaul extended the contract of women's basketball head coach Doug Bruno through the 2023-24 season. Bruno just wrapped up his 32nd season as head coach of his alma mater, leading DePaul to its 16th consecutive NCAA Tournament.

While the Blue Demons were eliminated in the Round of 32 this March, Bruno has led the program to the Sweet 16 three of the last eight seasons.

“I am so thankful to be working at a great institution like DePaul,” Bruno said in a press release. “I never would have been here without coach Ray Meyer who gave me a basketball scholarship, Frank McGrath and Gene Sullivan who hired me in the 1970s."

Behind Bruno, DePaul went 27-8 in 2017-18, winning its fifth-straight Big East regular-season title. The Blue Demons also won their third Big East Tournament title in five years, defeating rival Marquette 98-63. Bruno also picked up his 700th career victory in February, defeating conference-foe Butler 86-68.

“I’ve been fortunate to have great assistant coaches through all the years,” he said. “My current staff is absolutely one of the best in the country.

"Most important, the reason you succeed is the players. I’ve been blessed to have tremendous student-athletes help build the DePaul women’s basketball legacy.

“I am excited about this contract extension because we still have work to do. As proud as we are of everything we have achieved, our expectation through the length of this extension is to take the Blue Demons to even higher places.”

 

Loyola rewards Porter Moser with multi-year contract extension

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USA TODAY

Loyola rewards Porter Moser with multi-year contract extension

Loyola is rewarding Porter Moser for his basketball team's success this season.

Loyola and Moser have agreed to a multi-year contract extension, the team announced Wednesday. The deal is through the 2025-26 season.

"We are excited to be able to announce a new contract for Porter that will keep him at Loyola a long time," Loyola Director of Athletics Steve Watson said. "He is the perfect fit for Loyola and operates his program the right way, with student-athletes who achieve excellence on the court and in the classroom and are also excellent representatives of the institution.

"We are fortunate to work at a university like Loyola, that values and has made a commitment to athletics. It is nice to reward Porter not just for an outstanding season, but also for the job he has done during his time here."

That's a well-deserved extension for a head coach who led the Ramblers to a NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1985.

As the 11th seed, Loyola exceeded all expectations, shocking the world with a Final Four appearance. The Ramblers took down No. 6 Miami, No. 3 Tennessee, No. 7 Nevada, and No. 9 Kansas State before losing to No. 3 Michigan, who would go on to lose to No. 1 Villanova in the championship game.

Loyola finished the regular season with a 28-5 record and a MVC Championship.

In seven seasons, Moser has a 121-111 record with the Ramblers, though three of his last four have been winning seasons.