Saturday, November 5, 2016

The DePaul men and women each win big in a Friday night doubleheader in the Windy City

                             Photo Credits: Geno Green

On a Friday night in the first week of November unlike any other with the historical Chicago Cubs parade from Wrigley Field to Grant Park taking place earlier in the day, both DePaul basketball teams took to the court in an exhibition doubleheader against St. Francis and Rockhurst at McGrath-Phillips Arena.

The first game of the evening witnessed No. 21 DePaul round out its exhibition slate with a 126-56 win over St. Francis.

Freshman Kelly Campbell finished with game highs in points (19) and assists (nine).

In any sport, an evaluation of a new player off two exhibition games can be difficult at best, but Bruno believes Campbell can be a special player for years to come in the Windy City.

"Kelly Campbell is really good and you never know when a freshman is going to click," Bruno said. "It was never a question of whether Kelly can be good or not, but a matter of when. I think these two exhibition games have shown us that she has a chance to be pretty good really quick. She is tough, special and a smart player."

Bruno expects Campbell to play a significant role off the bench as the projected sixth man for the season opener on Nov. 11 vs. Appalachian State in the Maggie Dixon Classic.

The back end of the doubleheader turned into a turnover-fest between Rockhurst and DePaul.

Despite DePaul pulling away with the 79-53 win, it produced 21 turnovers, while Rockhurst amassed 24.

Perimeter defense plagued DePaul as Rockhurst's Travis House scored 19 of his team-high 26 points in the first half, highlighted by five makes from three-point range.

A bright spot shined in the final five minutes in regulation as highly touted freshman Levi Cook asserted himself on both sides of the ball as he showed power with bulky post moves on offense, while on defense showing the ability to play man to man defense on the perimeter.

DePaul coach Dave Leitao believes Cook can improve in time, but will be up to him to commit to the process.

"Levi is learning and I told the guys up there, you got to be patient," Leitao said. "He might not be ready 100 percent with what is about to hit him as he will be a guy to be relied and will continue to learn the game, while getting into the shape."

The DePaul women up against Appalachian State on Nov. 11 in the Maggie Dixon Classic, while the men start against Robert Morris on Nov. 13.

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