Women’s basketball at DePaul: What you need to know

The Bulldogs are looking to grab their 14th win of the season against DePaul. Photo courtesy of Butler Athletics

SAWYER GOLDWEIN | STAFF REPORTER | sgoldwein@butler.edu 

The Bulldogs will try to keep their hopes of a winning season alive when they take their 13-14 record into a road tilt with DePaul on Feb. 28. 

The Dawgs are coming off a 70-63 loss at Georgetown, which snapped their four-game winning streak. First-year guard Riley Makalusky was a bright spot, both against Georgetown and in Butler’s 84-46 home win against Xavier on Feb. 21. 

Makalusky logged 13 points, four rebounds and three assists against the Musketeers. She followed that up with a team-high 21 points in the Dawgs’ loss to Georgetown. Her standout performances earned her Big East Freshman of the Week honors for the first time in her career. She’ll look to carry her momentum into the stretch run of the season. 

Here’s what you need to know before Makalusky and the Dawgs take on DePaul. 

Who: Butler at DePaul 

When: Feb. 28, 8 p.m. 

Where: Wintrust Arena 

How to watch: BEDN 

Finishing strong 

Head coach Austin Parkinson has his team playing their best basketball late in the season, and it isn’t the first time. Parkinson’s Dawgs won four of five games to close out the 2022-23 regular season. Last year’s iteration of the Bulldogs finished 11-19, but their strong stretch to end the season left room for optimism heading into 2023-24. 

Now, Butler is in a slightly improved position. They sit at 13-14 with two games remaining and could win as many as six of their last seven games with victories over DePaul and Marquette. Just like last year, their late-season success brings up plenty of reasons for encouragement regarding the future. 

Most importantly, the Bulldogs have been starting three first-years throughout their hot streak. Makalusky, along with guard Karsyn Norman and forward Cristen Carter have all given Parkinson quality minutes and should be key contributors for years to come. 

Scouting the Blue Demons 

DePaul is 12-17 on the season and has secured just four wins in conference play. The Blue Demons are trying to fight their way out of a four-game skid. 

The Dawgs and Demons previously matched up on Jan. 31 at Hinkle Fieldhouse, with DePaul taking home the 67-57 victory. It was a defensive showdown, with Butler being held to 40.7% from the field and turning the ball over 16 times on the day. 

Limiting turnovers — particularly live-ball turnovers — will be key for the Bulldogs in the rematch. DePaul took advantage of Butler’s carelessness in the first battle and turned it into 17 points off turnovers. 

Slowing down graduate guard Anaya Peoples will also be vital for Butler. Peoples averages a team-leading 17.6 points per game and put up a game-high 24 against the Dawgs. Butler should give Peoples space on the perimeter and clog the paint, as she isn’t a three-point threat. 

In fact, DePaul as a team presents very little three-point shooting. Graduate guard Michelle Sidor and sophomore guard Kate Clarke are the only competent shooters, at 42.4% and 34.8% from deep, respectively. That lack of shooting should allow the Dawgs to sag off the perimeter, go under ball screens and help off their defensive assignment when DePaul drives. 

If they can keep the turnovers under control and dominate the paint, Butler has a great shot to earn a season split with DePaul. 


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