Saturday, November 12, 2016

Turnover city in the Chi as No. 21 DePaul blasts through Appalachian State

                                Photo Credit: The DePaulia     

Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers.

Friday night felt like an apple turnover buffet for No. 21 DePaul (1-0) as it forced Appalachian State (0-1) to commit 32 mistakes in a 99-58 win at the Maggie Dixon Classic in Chicago.

The 32 turnovers turned into 35 points for DePaul, while Appalachian State managed to force 12. DePaul coach Doug Bruno knows room for improvement exists and will use each game as a learning tool.

"I thought we did a lot of good things tonight, but at the same time, there is a lot of learning to be done, especially for the younger players," Bruno said.

In her first career start, junior Amarah Coleman proved to be main catalyst on both sides of the ball with the ability to play the passing lanes with ease and turn ASU's mistakes into points finishing with 16 in 27 minutes. Bruno believes the sky's the limit for the first-year starter.

"Amarah is a very talented player and has a chance to be really special and be good," Bruno said. "The bad news was that Kelly [Campbell] couldn't play much and as a result, Amarah got a lot of minutes and needs the experience given she didn't play a lot last season."

Aided by a fullcourt press, the Blue Demons forced the Mountaineers into 14 turnovers in the first quarter, which resulted in a 30-7 smother.

In need of another scoring threat with Mart'e Grays out for the season, first-time starter Ashton Millender stepped up and played a big part early with 7 of the first 10 points for DePaul on the way to a career-high 19 points.

"I have learned to step as a leader on the court and if something happens, I usually keep my teammates' spirits up," Millender said.

With little time to recover, DePaul meets old Conference USA foe UAB in the final of the Maggie Dixon Classic on Saturday at 8 p.m.

Can the aggressive play on the defensive end live up to the expectations for another night? 

Only time will tell.

Social Media:

Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.