DePaul (6-3) led by as many as nine points with 8:16 to play in the game, but was done in by turnovers.
“Clearly we let that one get away,” said DePaul coach Oliver Purnell. “We didn’t do anything in the last two minutes of the game to win. We turned it over four or five times. We didn’t make our free throws. We fouled a three pointer shooter for our second four point play that we’d given up in the game. As a result, we let it get away.”
“We turned the ball over, that’s were we really lost the game,” said DePaul sophomore guard Billy Garrett, Jr. “We took an ill-advised shot towards the end of the game and we turned it over a couple of times before. Turnovers is something we have to work on.”
It was a heartbreaking loss for the Blue Demons that overshadowed a big performance by DePaul senior Jamee Crockett. Crockett led the way for the Blue Demons with a career-high of 22 points on eight of 12 shooting from the field and four of seven from beyond the arc.
Yet it was Crockett who took the ill-advised shot that led to a Paris Lee three pointer and the foul that gave ISU the lead with 58 seconds left.
DePaul had four players finish in double-figures this afternoon. Tommy Hamilton IV added a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds. Myke Henry scored 12 points before fouling out late in the game. Garrett contributed with 10 points in the losing effort.
The Blue Demons were just 12 of 21 from the free throw line on the afternoon.
Illinois State (5-3) was led by 25 points from Daishon Knight on eight of 12 shooting. Mikyle McIntosh came off the bench to score 14 points. Reggie Lynch turned in a double-double performance of 13 points and 13 rebounds in the win for the Redbirds.
The Blue Demons now head west to play at Oregon State in a non-conference battle on Thursday night and then to Hawaii where they will play in the Diamond Head Classic beginning on the 22nd.
Illinois State Slips Past DePaul, 78-72
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