Despite being forced to switch hotels at 2 a.m. this morning, DePaul (6-1) got off on the right foot today, The Blue Demons opened the game on a 7-0 run and never trailed in the contest.
“That was really important,” DePaul coach Oliver Purnell said of the strong start to the game. “Particularly after last night, we could have come into the game and go like ‘Whoa, we’re tired’. The kids could have said ‘we’re tired’ and just go through the motions, but they didn’t, they came out with a defense first mentality and shared the ball and tried to get the ball inside. I think that start sent a signal that we’re going to control things today.”
DePaul held Milwaukee (4-5) to 37.5 percent shooting from the field and threw themselves a block party with 10 blocked shots on the afternoon.
“I thought in the first half of tonight’s ballgame, we probably played our best defense of the year which was obviously good to see,” Purnell said.
Once again, DePaul got the job done with balanced scoring. All five starters finished in double-figures. Sophomore guard Billy Garrett, Jr. led the way for the Blue Demons with 18 points and four assists. Garrett was also a perfect 11 for 11 from the free throw line. Myke Henry and Tommy Hamilton added 15 points apiece. Hamilton also corralled nine rebounds and blocked three shots. DePaul senior Jamee Crockett chipped in with 13 points. Durrell McDonald contributed with 10 points.
“It’s a beautiful thing,”, Garrett said of the balanced scoring. “It makes us tough to guard. You never really know who’s going to get going. It makes it tough on the defense, they can’t help too much off of anybody.”
The Blue Demons shot 21 of 23 from the charity stripe in what was their best free throw shooting performance of the season.
The balanced offense did the trick, putting up 83 points on a UWM team that was only allowing 55.2 points per game coming into today's game.
Steve McWhorter and J.R. Lyle led the way for the Panthers with 13 points apiece.
At 6-1, DePaul is now off to their best start since the 1993-94 basketball season.
The Blue Demons now head out on the road where they will face the George Washington Colonials in the nation’s capital on Thursday night at 6 p.m. Central.
- Purnell said that DePaul junior forward Rashaun Stimage, who had foot surgery in October, will have his protective boot taken off on Monday.
Blue Demons Win Fourth Straight
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