Rutgers (3-0) led by as many as 22 points with 10:39 to play. DePaul (1-1) then fought back behind the play of sophomore guard Eli Cain.
Cain led all scorers with 24 points while shooting eight of 13 overall and five of seven from beyond the arc.
The big difference in this game was the rebounding margin. DePaul’s depleted frontcourt was outrebounded 46 to 27. The Blue Demons have been missing freshman center Levi Cook and senior walkon Peter Ryckbosch due to knee injuries in the early season.
“We got beat on the backboards by 19 and you just can’t give possessions away like that and expect that things are going to happen,” said DePaul coach Dave Leitao
Cain was the only Demon to reach double-figures. Senior guard Billy Garrett, Jr. has been in a slump for the last two games. Tonight Garrett shot one of 11 from the field before fouling out with 8:24 left in the game.
“We ran two plays to start the game and he missed point blank 16-footers, which I’ve seen him make a million times,” said Leitao. “I can get a little bit concerned because it’s the second game in a row that one - he’s in foul trouble and two - he hasn’t shot the ball very well.”
Corey Sanders led the way for Rutgers with 15 points. Mike Williams came in off the bench to score 14 points in the winning effort for the Scarlet Knights.
The Blue Demons return to Allstate Arena on Sunday afternoon for a matchup with the Milwaukee Panthers.
- Freshman guard Devin Gage left the game in the second half with an injury to his right shoulder.
- Tonight's game was part of the Gavitt Games that match Big East teams with Big Ten counterparts. DePaul is now 0-2 in the Gavitt Games, having lost on the road last season at Penn State.