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Cain Leads DePaul to Opening Win

Despite fouling out with 2:57 to play in the game, DePaul sophomore Eli Cain spurred on the Blue Demons to a 78-72 victory over Robert Morris in the team’s season opener in Lincoln Park on Sunday night.

Cain started his sophomore season off with a 21 point performance while shooting six of 12 from the floor.

DePaul (1-0) lead Robert Morris (0-2) by seven points when Cain fouled out.  It was then up to his teammates to hold on for the win.

At one point in the second half, Billy Garrett, Jr. and Cain were both on the bench in foul trouble,

“We had to play without those guys (Cain and Garrett) and I was thinking for a quick second - ‘OK, let’s see how we respond’.  We had to go with a smaller lineup, an inexperienced lineup and we have to grow from that,” DePaul coach Dave Leitao said.  

The Blue Demons never trailed in the contest and led by as many as 13 points with 6:44 to play.

DePaul frequently went with small lineups and was outrebounded by the Colonials by a 39-33 margin.

Turnovers were an issue for the Blue Demons in the first half, DePaul had 10 miscues, but the ball handling got much better in the second half.

DePaul had four players finish in double-figures.  Senior guard Darrick Wood came in off the bench to score 13 points on five of eight shooting. Junior college transfer Tre’Darius McCallum scored 12 points in his debut as a Blue Demon.  McCallum was three of five from the field while grabbing eight rebounds and dished out six assists.  Billy Garrett, Jr. added 10 points while struggling from the field (two for 10 shooting).

Brandon Cyrus went four of five from the floor and scored nine points in his freshman debut.

Isaiah Still led the way for RMU with 26 points while shooting 10 of 17.

Next, the Blue Demons will host the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Thursday night in their first game of the season at Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

Notes

  • Freshman big man Levi Cook was not on the DePaul bench due to an injury situation and due to a team disciplinary matter.  “He got hurt the other day in practice and so he’s nursing that,” Leitao said of Cook. “That and we had a little team matter, he wasn’t going to play anyway.  I just wanted to make sure that I send a message to him.  He’s a really good kid. We’re all growing.  Every day there is teachable moments.”

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