Thursday, December 16, 2010

Demons demolish discombobulated Cardinal

By Wally Mersereau

It was a cold night in Chicago--21 degrees to be exact--and a few snowflakes were drifting downward. But inside McGrath Arena on the DePaul campus the Blue Demons were fired up and red hot. They out-played visiting Stanford from start to finish. Stanford's black uniforms did not intimidate DePaul in the slightest. The Blue Demons were better on both sides of the ball for the entire game, playing non-stop aggressive defense and making heart-breaking shot after heart-breaking shot. In comparison, Stanford looked pretty inept over-all. DePaul answered basket for basket and then some.

Halfway through the first half Stanford managed to catch up and take a two-point lead, but it lasted less than a minute. Stanford struggled back again to get within two points at the half, 37-35. The closest Stanford could get in the second half was one point with about 15 minutes to go, but it was all down hill from there as DePaul dominated and ran away with the game to a final score of 91-71. This was just a plain old fashioned thrashing. I haven't looked at the stats, but I'm sure they will favor DePaul in every category.

And this happened in front of one of the largest collection of Stanford fans ever for an early-season road game because of the absolutely great turn-out of supporters for Chicago-area players Sarah Boothe and Toni Kokenis and near-by Ohioan Mikaela Ruef. I sat behind Sarah's high school coach and beside Mikaela's grandfather. There were hundreds of Sarah, Toni and Mikaela fans, but they had little to cheer for. The Fast Break Club had five members present: Fred and Cherie Half, Kellee Noonan, Douglas Lee and me.

I may have jinxed Stanford by optimistically having a banner prepared to celebrate Tara's 800th win. But that will have to gather dust until another, brighter day.

What else? Well, Kayla did not play, apparently being saved for Sunday's game at Tennessee, and, of course, she was missed. Jeanette made many clutch shots to end with, I think, 23 points as Stanford's top scorer. Chiney appeared to be seriously injured with just under 14 minutes left in the game when a DePaul player fell hard on her as she lay on the floor. She could not put any weight on one leg as she was assisted from the floor and went to the locker room. She reappeared with about 10 minutes to play with an ice pack in her hand and almost at once went back in the game and played most of the remaining minutes without showing any limitations. Joslyn made some nice 3-pointers. Toni started, but didn't score her first basket until the waning minutes.

That's about it, folks. What more is there to say? Stanford came and DePaul conquered. Time to regroup. End of story.

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