For the second straight game, DePaul (4-1) had to mount a second half comeback effort to win the game.
This time it was a 15 point second half deficit that the Blue Demons had to overcome to defeat Drake 77-75 at McGrath-Phillips Arena on Wednesday night.
It was the largest deficit overcome by a DePaul team since the 2007-08 season.
“We have this heart and soul and kinetic energy to make comebacks like that,” said DePaul coach Dave Leitao. “You’ve got to have some hutzpah or intestinal fortitude to be able to do those kinds of things.”
DePaul’s bench play was instrumental in the win, particularly the play of senior guards Chris Harrison-Docks and Darrick Wood off of the bench.
Wood score 12 points, 10 of which came in the second half.
“I think it showed how resilient we are and our fight,” senior guard Darrick Wood said of the comeback. “It’s not about the size of the dog in the fight, it’s about the size of the fight in the dog. I feel like that game showed us in one mixing bowl every emotion and that helps us, because we are a team that strives off emotion and it got us the win.”
Harrison Docks got hot from beyond the arc knocking down four of five from 3-point territory and finishing with 14 points on the night.
“I was able to get some great passes from my teammates,” said Harrison-Docks. “They got me involved and I was able to knock them down.”
Five players finished in double-figures for the Blue Demons. Sophomore guard Eli Cain led all scorers with 19 points and put DePaul on top 76-75 with 39 seconds to go. Freshman Brandon Cyrus added 14 points and was five of nine from the field. Tre’Darius McCallum contributed with 10 points and collected six rebounds.
DePaul freshman center Levi Cook made his debut tonight after sitting out the first four games with a knee injury. Cook played inspired off the bench and scored four points.
Drake took a lead in the first half when DePaul’s frontcourt players, McCallum, Cook, and Hanel were all on the bench in foul trouble. During that stretch, Drake went on a 16-0 run to take a 38-29 halftime lead.
Reed Timmer led the way for the Bulldogs with 18 points. Billy Wampler scored a career-high 17 points off the bench and T.J. Thomas added 10 points in the losing effort for Drake (1-6).
Next for the Blue Demons is their first road game of the season to nearby Evanston on Saturday night against the Northwestern Wildcats.
Postgame Notes from DePaul Sports Information
- DePaul is 4-1 for the second time in the last three seasons.
- At McGrath-Phillips Arena, the Blue Demons are 2-0 this season and 12-2 all time... DePaul also hosts UIC in Lincoln Park on Dec. 14.
- Wednesday marked the second consecutive game the Blue Demons erased a double-figure deficit in the second half... DePaul trailed Missouri State, 58-45, with 7:29 left on Nov. 23.
- The 15-point deficit was the largest deficit overcome since DePaul trailed by 16 against USF on Feb. 9, 2008... the Blue Demons won that game, 69-61... DePaul also trailed by 15 earlier that season in a 75-73 win over Rutgers on Jan. 19.
- Eli Cain’s 19 points ended his streak at four games with 20 or more points... dating back to last season, Cain has scored in double-figures in six straight games and nine of his last 10 games.
- DePaul leads the series, 7-2, against Drake... the Blue Demons are 124-46 against the current lineup of Missouri Valley Conference programs.