DePaul (6-9, 0-3) had a five point lead with 9:12 to play in the game, but failed to put away Butler (12-3, 1-2) down the stretch.
Kellen Dunham dealt DePaul a three point dagger to give Butler a 72-65 lead with 1:44 to play, but the Blue Demons managed to scratch and claw their way back to within two points before the Bulldogs prevailed.
“I’m equal parts frustrated and disappointed,” said DePaul coach Dave Leitao.
DePaul struggled some against the Butler zone late in the second half.
“We got stagnant and didn’t get quality possessions,” said Leitao.
The Bulldogs had three players finish in double-figures. Kellen Dunham led all scorers with 24 points. Andrew Chrabasz contributed 16 points while senior guard Roosevelt Jones added 15 points.
DePaul’s Myke Henry finished with a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead the way for the Blue Demons in a game where Henry played the full 40 minutes.
Tommy Hamilton scored 19 points off the bench and grabbed nine rebounds. Hamilton came in relief of Rashaun Stimage who only played five minutes due to foul trouble.
The Blue Demons got a decent lift from their bench tonight. Junior reserve Darrick Wood played some inspired ball and scored 15 points while shooting seven of 11 from the field.
“He’s been healthy the last few days,” Leitao said of Wood. “When he’s healthy, he’s engaged. When he’s engaged, his talent starts to show. What’s ailed him and us is that every other day his knees don’t feel well. Sometimes it affects him psychologically. He gets a little discouraged. The last few days he’s had really good rhythm in practice. He’s been energetic. He feels good and that’s the result.”
DePaul played without freshman guard Erten Gazi, who has been feeling lightheaded the last few days.
Turnovers continue to plague DePaul and have been since Big East play began. Tonight the Blue Demons turned the ball over 17 times which enabled Butler to score 24 points off of turnovers.
One bright spot for DePaul tonight was on the glass. The Blue Demons outrebounded the Bulldogs 39 to 25.
The Blue Demons next travel to the nation’s capital where they will have a revenge match with the Georgetown Hoyas in a Saturday morning game at 11 a.m. Central.
Postgame Notes from DePaul Sports Information:
The Blue Demons outrebounded the Bulldogs, 39-25... DePaul’s rebounding margin of 14 is the largest margin of the season... the Blue Demons have outrebounded the opponent in 11 of 15 games this season... Myke Henry is the first Blue Demon to have a double-double since Tommy Hamilton IV at UIC on Dec. 2, 2015... Darrick Wood tied his career high (second time) for points with 15... Myke Henry posted double-digit rebounds for the first time this season… DePaul leads the series, 6-5... Butler has won four straight games in the series... the two teams meet again on Jan. 27 at Hinkle Fieldhouse.