DePaul Wins Opener Over UIC

The Blue Demons got their first win of the new season by defeating UIC 72-71 at McGrath-Phillips Arena on Friday night in the season opener.

The fans got their money's worth as DePaul sophomore guard Billy Garrett, Jr. knocked down the game winning three pointer with 6.5 seconds left in the game. Garrett hit the shot with ice water in his veins.

"I don't believe in pressure, to me it doesn't exist," said Garrett. "The shot is the same whether it's 19 minutes or two seconds. The rim is not any smaller when there's two seconds on the clock. People mention pressure. I don't believe in it. I think it's a myth."

The Blue Demons came out firing on all cylinders in the first half and led by 16 points at the intermission.

Then DePaul sputtered in the second half against the UIC zone.

"The zone slowed them down," said UIC coach Howard Moore. "The zone made them be hesitant and made them take a lot more jump shots then they probably want."

DePaul (1-0) managed to hold UIC (0-1) to 36.8 percent shooting from the floor in the winning effort. Yet DePaul coach Oliver Purnell wasn't happy with his team's defensive effort in the second half.

"Our problem was defensively we let up and allowed them to get going," Purnell said.

Tommy Hamilton led all scorers with 17 points and eight rebounds. The DePaul sophomore had a good performance on the night.

"I just had fun," Hamilton said. "It was a good game. I was just really into it tonight. I really wanted the team to win. We had a lot of fans out and I wanted to give them a good show."

The Blue Demons had four players in double-figures. Garrett scored 12 points and dished out six assists. Myke Henry scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds in his debut as a Blue Demon. Forrest Robinson contributed 11 points off the bench including nine points from beyond the arc.

Marc Brown led UIC with 19 points. Paris Burns added 15 and Jake Weigand finished with a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Flames.

DePaul next will face Drake on Tuesday night in the first game of the season in Rosemont at Allstate Arena.

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