DePaul (4-3) overcame a slow start to take down Chicago State (3-6) 96-72 on Saturday afternoon.
DePaul senior Myke Henry gave the Blue Demons a 27-25 lead on a layup with 8:53 remaining in the first half. Following Henry’s basket, DePaul never trailed again.
“I thought what got us in trouble was we were playing back on our heels,” said DePaul coach Dave Leitao. “We weren’t ready to go, we were lethargic, you know all of those things that I had feared coming into the game. We made a couple substitutions, and guys started to buckle down and realize what we were doing in that moment and understand what the gameplan was. Once they started executing what we talked about the last few days, I thought we forged ahead.”
The Blue Demons had six players finish in double-figures and were led by a career-high scoring effort from freshman Eli Cain with 20 points.
“Eli has a chance to be really good and as a result has to put himself in a position to get better every single day so he can reach his potential,” Leitao said.
Junior guard Billy Garrett, Jr. added 16 points, six rebounds, and three assists.
Tommy Hamilton IV came in off the bench to score 13 points and seven rebounds before he was ejected in the second half following a flagrant two foul call for swinging his elbows.
Henry contributed 13 points, while Aaron Simpson scored 11. R.J. Curington chipped in with 10 points, including two 3-pointers while coming off the bench.
The Blue Demons held Chicago State guard Elliott Cole to nine points. Fred Sims, Jr. led all scorers with 22 points, while Jawal Adekoya scored 17 in the losing effort for the Cougars.
DePaul held CSU to 26.7 percent shooting in the second half and 35.2 percent for the game.
The Blue Demons also scored 23 points off of Cougar turnovers.
DePaul goes out on the road next to face the Drake Bulldogs in Des Moines, Iowa on Wednesday night.