DePaul (2-1) got back on the winning track thanks to the performances of Eli Cain and Billy Garrett, Jr. who led all scorers with 20 points apiece.
After leading 30-27 at the intermission, DePaul went on a roll to start the second half. Cain was a huge part of that.
Cain scored just three points in the first half, but then exploded in the second half. Cain shot seven of 10 from the field, three of five from beyond the arc and grabbed five rebounds to go along with two assists.
“We played more as a team,” said Garrett. “When that happens, good players find shots and (Eli) found shots. He did what he’s been doing every single game this year. He’s been playing amazing. I’m proud of him.”
After going through a scoring drought in the first two games, Garrett bounced back with a six of 14 shooting performance. He went three of five on 3-pointers, collected six rebounds and dished out six assists.
“I looked up and he played 34 minutes, which is a lot,” said DePaul coach Dave Leitao. “I thought it was his game. That’s the best statement that I could say. Not just because he scored. He had a prominent leadership role in the game on both ends of the floor. He dictated some things and he wasn’t getting dictated to. In boxing terms, he was first to the punch. That was more mentally than physically. As a result, good things happened for him. When that happens, good things happen for us.”
Senior guard Darrick Wood came in off the bench to contribute 12 points in the winning effort.
After struggling on the glass in the last two games, the Blue Demons outrebounded Milwaukee by a 33-25 margin.
“It’s something that we’ve got to continue to get better at, quite honestly,” said Leitao. “We did a better job today, but it’s still not where we want it to be. Like everything else it’s a work in progress. We’ve got to understand that you can be a point guard or a five man, you’ve got to be able to put your nose in there and rebound for us.”
“We paid more attention to it,” Cain said of the rebounding effort. “It was a team effort tonight”
DePaul held Milwaukee sharpshooter Cody Wichmann to one of eight overall shooting in the victory.
Milwaukee (1-2) was led by former Bogan guard Bryce Barnes who came off the bench to score 14 points. Bryce Nze added 13 points, also coming off the bench.
The Blue Demons return to Allstate Arena on Wednesday night for a tussle with the Missouri State Bears.