CHICAGO -- Anna Martin scored 17 points and Keisha Hampton added 16 to help DePaul (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP) beat St. Mary's 96-68 on Friday night in the Maggie Dixon Classic.
The victory was the 20th straight home win for the Blue Demons, who tied for second in Big East last year and reached the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament.DePaul (1-0) led 44-36 at the half and pulled away behind a 3-point barrage in the second half, hitting 10 of 17 3's after the break.Jasmine Smith scored 15 points and Danielle Mauldin added 13 for the Gaels (0-1).DePaul faces Samford in Saturday's tournament championship. The Bulldogs (1-0) beat Montana (0-1) 59-45 earlier Friday.The Blue Demons never trailed and the Gaels forced only one brief tie at 19-19 midway through the first half. DePaul later opened a double-digit lead at 39-28 before the Gaels trimmed it back in the late going.DePaul opened the second half with 8-1 run and the lead steadily grew until it hit 29 points late in the game.Also scoring in double figures for the Blue Demons were Deanna Ortiz with 13, Chanise Jenkins and Megan Rogowski with 11 apiece and Brittany Hrynko with 10.The four-team tourney is named for the former DePaul assistant coach who died of an arrhythmia in 2006 after concluding her first season as Army head coach.The Blue Demons will meet Tennessee in another separate Maggie Dixon Classic match sponsored by Pittsburgh next month at Madison Square Garden.St. Mary's was runner-up in the West Coast Conference last year and reached the postseason WNIT.