The DePaul women’s basketball team extended its Big East Conference winning streak to seven games with a 78-49 win over Xavier on Wednesday at the Cintas Center, improving to 18-5 and 9-2 in Big East play. Over the season, they ranked in the AP Top 25 for several weeks, and have finished just outside the Top 25 since December.
Coach Doug Bruno puts it all on the line Sunday, as the Lady Blue Demons return to McGrath-Phillips Arena to host new Big East opponent Creighton University of Nebraska.
DePaul tied its 2010-11 streak by winning the last seven Big East conference games. Five of those seven wins have been road games.
Throughout the season, the Blue Demons have been putting up impressive numbers and lead the conference in assists (20.8), field goal percentage (.452), scoring margin (+11.8), scoring offense (84.5), steals(12.2), 3-point field goals (8.9) and field goal percentage (.347), turnover margin (+6.09) and winning percentage (.773).
Individually, Jasmine Penny leads the conference in field goal percentage (.607) and Megan Rogowski paces the conference in both 3-pointers per game (3.0) and 3-point field goal percentage (.421). Brittany Hrynko (5.5) and Chanise Jenkins (5.3) rank second and third respectively in assists, while Jenkins (3.2) is second in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio. Hrynko also leads the BIG EAST with 2.5 steals per game and is coming off a six-steal performance at Providence.
Penny’s field goal percentage ranks sixth in Division I, and Jenkins assist-to-turnover ratio is the ninth best. Rogowski’s 3-pointers per game ranks 12h and Hrynko’s 2.5 steals per game sits at 40th.
But Sunday's game is special for another reason.
Sunday is DePaul's annual "Play 4Kay" game, a nationwide initiative to raise breast cancer awareness and funds for cancer research, honoring the late North Carolina State University women's coach Kay Yow.
Bruno and women's basketball assistant coach Jill Pizzotti will have Yow in their thoughts.
"I got to know Coach Yow while working with Nike and would visit with her on my trips to North Carolina State," said Pizzotti, who worked at Nike from 2005-2010. "It became a mission for Yow to find a cure for cancer. Nike made the first set of pink uniforms for North Carolina State symbolizing breast cancer awareness.
"Her vision was to find a cure for cancer, and she advocated the use of clinical trials that extended life with quality for cancer patients. She was the driving force that unified women's basketball coaches to fight together against this insidious disease. The best way of bringing awareness to breast cancer was telling the Kay Yow story.
"Kay Yow was one of those special, special human beings that happened to be a coach," Bruno said. "People don't realize she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in the late 1980s. She had been handling it with such a positive attitude for a long time.
"She was an amazing human being who lived her life in the service of others. And she was someone who did so much to promote breast cancer awareness and to raise funds to find a cure.
"What Kay Yow espoused was always putting others ahead of her. She was on the board of directors of the V Foundation for Cancer Research and will forever be linked with North Carolina State men's basketball coach Jimmy Valvano who died of cancer in April of 1993.
The game is being televised by FOX Sports 1.
Cancer survivors can receive two complimentary tickets with online registration and are invited to join the halftime ribbon rally.
DePaul has also partnered with the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Fans in attendance having can sign up to walk or volunteer for the three-day event in May 31-June 1 in Chicago.
Tickets for all DePaul athletic events can be purchased on DePaulBlueDemons.com, by calling the ticket office at (773) 325-SLAM at 2323 N. Sheffield Avenue in Chicago.