Lady Lions Scouting Report: DePaul
The Penn State women’s basketball team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004 in their win Saturday over Dayton. The Lady Lions will face third-seed DePaul on Monday at 7 p.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center.
DePaul Blue Demons (Big East Conference)
Record: 27-6 (13-3 Big East)
Coach: Doug Bruno (485-270 record)
Series History: Penn State leads the series 4-0. The last meeting was an 85-78 Penn State victory on Dec. 30, 1992.
Players to watch for: Keisha Hampton (15.5 ppg); Felicia Chester (11.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg); Sam Quigley (10.2 ppg, 4 apg)
DePaul is a very good team that finished the season ranked 10th in the AP Top 25 and second in the Big East behind perennial-power UConn. In the regular season, the Blue Demons had quality wins over No. 18 St. John’s, No. 8 West Virginia, No. 22 Marquette and No.7 Notre Dame. They also beat No.2 Stanford by 20 points in December. DePaul advanced to the semifinals of the Big East T0urnament before losing to Notre Dame. In the first round of the NCAA Tournament, they overcame a pesky Navy team to win going away, 56-43.
The Blue Demons are led by Keisha Hampton, but Sam Quigley could be the key to victory. Not only does she average 10.2 points per game, but she leads the team with 135 assists. DePaul averages 74.4 points per game, so the match-up with Penn State should be a high-scoring affair. However, DePaul does hold opponents to just 59.8 points per game and 30 percent from beyond the arc, so Penn State’s guards will have to be at their best to keep up with DePaul’s fast-paced offense.
Experience could play a big role in the outcome of the game. DePaul has nine upperclassmen on their roster, while Penn State has just three. After Penn State’s first round match-up with Dayton, Penn State coach Coquese Washington talked about how the team’s tendency is to get too excited at times. If this is the case on Monday, look for DePaul to remain calm and to take an early lead.
Overall, the biggest factor may be home-court advantage. Penn State is 14-3 at the BJC, while DePaul lost all six of their games on the road. A large and boisterous crowd could be the difference for Penn State. The Lady Lions will need all the help they can get in order to beat a very good DePaul squad.