DePaul (5-3) had to survive some late foul trouble to hold on for the win.
“I think we have to win games like this in order to have teachable moments,” DePaul coach Dave Leitao told WSCR radio. “This was a very good teachable moment for us to get the win most importantly and come back tomorrow and look at the film and see how we can learn from this.”
Billy Garrett, Jr. led the Blue Demons with 19 points on seven of eight from the field before fouling out late in the contest.
Four Blue Demons finished in double figures. Freshman guard Eli Cain scored 13 points, grabbed six rebounds and had three steals.
Tommy Hamilton IV came off the bench to contribute 13 points and nine boards.
Myke Henry added 11 points on four of six shooting.
DePaul shot 57 percent from the field overall while going 50 percent from beyond the arc. Drake (4-5) shot 41 percent from the floor.
Drake sharpshooter Reed Timmer led all scorers with 30 points, including 13 of 17 from the free throw line.
The Blue Demons overcame a disparity in the number of fouls called. Officials called 24 fouls on DePaul to 16 on Drake.
DePaul now returns home where they will face undefeated Little Rock at McGrath-Phillips Arena at 9 p.m. on Saturday.