Former metro-east players compete in NCAA women's tournament

From staff and wire reportsMarch 25, 2014 

For the DePaul women's basketball team, a great season just keeps getting better.

The Blue Demons have run off a long winning streak. They've won their first Big East title. They've put their names in the NCAA tournament record book.

And on Monday night they went into Cameron Indoor Stadium and took down Duke to reach the NCAA's Tournament's Sweet 16.

DePaul reached the tournament's third weekend for just the third time in school history, getting there by upsetting Duke 74-65.

"It has to absolutely be the biggest win for this group of young women this season," DePaul coach Doug Bruno said after his team improved to 29-6.

Next up is the James Madison-Texas A&M winner on Saturday in the Lincoln Regional semifinals. UConn is in the other half of the bracket.

One of DePaul's players is former Mater Dei High all-state basketball and volleyball player Brooke Schulte, a redshirt freshman guard.

Schulte has played in 23 of the team's 35 games, scoring 28 points and grabbing 18 rebounds. The resident of Germantown averages a little under five minutes per game and is 3-for-10 on 3-pointers.

Schulte played in seven games in 2012-13, then suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and missed the rest of the season.

DePaul hit a season-high 14 3-pointers -- and seven came immediately after Duke field goals.

"We have the greenish green light," DePaul guard Brittany Hrynko said. "He doesn't mind us taking 3s. He said as long as we take them, we have to defend and rebound."

Megan Rogowski scored 22 points with six 3s, Megan Podkowa added 18 points and Hrynko had 14 for the seventh-seeded Blue Demons, who have won 18 of 19.

They forced second-seeded but injury-depleted Duke into 21 turnovers with their high-pressure defense.

Elizabeth Williams scored 12 points and blocked seven shots. Seniors Haley Peters and Tricia Liston each added 11 in their final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Duke (28-7) led for only 12 seconds and became the first top-four seed to lose in the tournament.

The Blue Devils -- who made four straight appearances in the regional finals -- became the first No. 2 seed to lose this early since Xavier lost to Louisville in 2011.

Jasmine Penny added 11 points for DePaul. The Big East champs were coming off a 104-100 win over Oklahoma in the first round, the highest-scoring regulation game in tournament history.

They joined Connecticut, Notre Dame and North Carolina as teams to come into Cameron this season and beat the Blue Devils.

They won this one with defense, using relentless pressure to suffocate a Blue Devils team with no healthy point guards after season-ending knee injuries to senior Chelsea Gray and sophomore Alexis Jones.

Ka'lia Johnson scored 11 points and Oderah Chidom added 10 for Duke, which lost an NCAA tournament game at Cameron for the first time since 1996 and was denied its 17th regional semifinal berth in 18 years.

Former metro-east star at Arizona State

Highland graduate and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville transfer Katie Hempen was the leading scorer for Arizona State (23-10) in its first-round NCAA Tournament upset of Vanderbilt.

In a 69-61 victory Saturday, the 5-foot-9 redshirt sophomore guard had 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting. She drained four of her five 3-point attempts and also had two assists.

The Sun Devils' season ended with an 84-67 loss Monday night to Notre Dame in Toledo, Ohio. Hempen had four points in that game.

Hempen played in all 33 games and was a starter in seven, tied for second on the team in scoring at 8.3 points per game. Hempen's 44 3-pointers also ranked second on the team and she had 48 assists and 27 steals.

Hempen was chosen as ASU's Most Improved Player following the 2012-13 season despite only being allowed to practice with the team after transferring from SIUE.

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