In what turned out to be a game of runs, DePaul (7-14, 1-8) came out of the gate with a 9-0 run to start as Xavier (19-2, 7-2) was cold from the floor.
Xavier fought back with runs of 8-0 and 7-0 of their own in the first half to take the lead at intermission 42-33.
The Blue Demons got in foul trouble early as Myke Henry, Erten Gazi, and Peter Ryckbosch all had two fouls in the early minutes of the game. Also, Rashaun Stimage did not play today due to “coach’s decision”.
Xavier got too many second chance opportunities as they outrebounded DePaul 39-27.
“Today it was fouls that got us in trouble,” said DePaul coach Dave Leitao. “I had good players sitting beside me. Then it was free throws that they got out of it. Then it became offensive rebounds. We gave up nine in the first half and only got one ourselves. When you have an opportunity to play against a really good team, and they are one of the best by far in the country, then you have to play not a perfect game, but you can’t make a lot of mistakes in any area.”
At the end of the day, Xavier was just too deep and too skilled of a team for the Blue Demons.
The Musketeers had five players finish in double-figures. Trevon Bluiett led the way with 15 points. Larry Austin, Jr. and J.P. Macura both came in off the bench to contribute 12 points apiece. Jalen Reynolds and Myles Davis chipped in with 10 points each.
DePaul’s Billy Garrett, Jr. led all scorers with 18 points on seven of 12 shooting. Tommy Hamilton IV shot six of 12 and added 15 points, before fouling out with 5:35 to play. Myke Henry and Eli Cain contributed 10 points apiece. The Blue Demons got very little scoring help from their bench today.
Next up for the Blue Demons is a Tuesday night matchup with the Providence Friars at Allstate Arena.
Postgame Notes from DePaul Sports Information:
Billy Garrett Jr. (299 assists) passed Drake Diener (2001-05) for 17th on DePaul’s all-time assist chart… Tommy Hamilton IV reached double figures for the 35th time in his collegiate career… Hamilton’s three three-pointers matched his career high (fifth time)... he knocked down three three’s for the second straight game... DePaul holds a 9-8 advantage in the all-time series... Xavier sweeps the season series and has won three straight overall.