DePaul spotlights the inaugural Elevance Health Fort Myers Tip-Off

FORT MYERS, Fla. – DePaul women’s basketball will begin a three-day stint at the inaugural Elevance Health Fort Myers Tip-Off event, Nov. 25-27. The Blue Demons will meet No. 14 Maryland, Pittsburgh and Towson in the round robin tournament at Suncoast Credit Union Arena on the campus of Florida Southwestern State College.

Game Information:
vs. No. 14 Maryland | Friday, November 25 | 10 am CT | FS2 | statistics
vs. Pittsburgh | Saturday, November 26 | 1 p.m. CT | FSWBucs.com | statistics
vs. Towson | Sunday, November 27 | 1 p.m. CT | FSWBucs.com | statistics

Opening tip: DePaul enters the weekend 2-2, following a 98-83 win over RV/RV Miami on Sunday that saw Darrion Rodgers and Annessa Morrow combine for 71 points.

The duo has led the way for the Blue Demons in the early stages of the 2022-23 season with Morrow, a preseason AP All-American, averaging a nation-best 31.5 points per game to go along with 10.8 rebounds while Rodgers posted 21 .8 points and 5.8 assists per contest.

Notre Dame transfer Anaya peoples brought his versatile game to Chicago, averaging 9.8 points and 8.8 rebounds in four games. Jory Allen, returning to the starting lineup after missing last season due to injury, anchors the front court alongside Morrow. After losing a pair of guards to injury, Jr Kendall Holmes stepped up as a leading ball handler.

DePaul ranks 11th in the nation in scoring offense at 89.0 points per game and forces 22.3 turnovers per game. As a team, the Blue Demons have won or shared the rebounding battle in all four games and have a margin of +9.2 on the season.

Doug Bruno is in his 37th season leading the DePaul program and holds a record of 760-370 while picking up his 800th career victory in Sunday’s win over Miami.

Maryland Intelligence: The 14th-ranked Terrapins are 4-1 against Fort Myers, with their only loss coming at the hands of the 2022 defending champions, No. 1 South Carolina. Before making the trip to Florida, Maryland retired then-No. 19 Baylor 73-68 last week in Waco. Diamond Miller, the Terps’ lone returning starter, leads the way with an average of 21.0 points per game, while Princeton transfer Abby Myers has scored in double figures in all five games with a 15.6 average. Brenda Frese is in her 21st season at the helm in College Park and led her program to the 2022 Sweet Sixteen.

Scouting Pittsburgh: Former BIG EAST fellow Pitt is 4-0 on the young season after last picking up a win over in-state rival Duquesne on Saturday afternoon. The Panthers welcomed five newcomers to their squad while returning nine letterwinners from a 2021-22 team that went 11-19 and 2-16 in ACC action. Junior guard Liatu King leads three Pitt players averaging double figures with 12.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. Lance White is in his fifth season anchoring the Panthers program.

Scouting Towson: The Tigers, under first-year head coach Laura Harper, started the season 3-0 with wins over Longwood, St. Francis and Maryland Eastern Shore. Kylie Kornegay-Lewis leads the team in scoring (20.7 ppg), rebounds (8.0 ppg) and assists (15). Anissa Rivera, a North Carolina Central transfer, is averaging 11.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in three games. A season ago, Towson was 24-8 and most recently earned a WNIT bid.

Things from the series: The first contest of the tournament will see DePaul and Maryland meet for just the second time the Terps took the only previous meeting on Nov. 23, 2001 in a Coaches vs. Cancer in Ames, Iowa.

Saturday’s matchup will mark the first matchup between DePaul and Pittsburgh, former BIG EAST rivals, since 2013. The Blue Demons are 9-4 all-time against the Panthers and have won seven of the last eight meetings, including six in a row.

DePaul and Towson will meet for the first time in program history on Sunday. The Blue Demons are 4-0 all-time against current CAA members.

It follows: DePaul will return to Chicago before beginning BIG EAST play on the road with a game at Butler on Sunday, Dec. 4. Tip-off from Hinkle Fieldhouse is set for 1 p.m., with FloHoops coverage.

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