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St. John’s Edges DePaul

The Blue Demons started off the new year with a competitive battle with the Red Storm, but didn’t have quite enough to keep up with the St. John’s offensive onslaught in the second half in a 79-73 loss in Rosemont on Sunday afternoon.

After leading by seven points at the half, DePaul (7-8, 0-2) gradually saw St. John’s (8-7, 2-0) chip away at the lead.

Second half turnovers were also costly for the Blue Demons. DePaul turned the ball over 11 times in the second half.

“As they game went on, we weren’t as aggressive and we weren’t as mentally locked in,” DePaul coach Dave Leitao said of the game’s second half.  “What we did in the first half defensively, we didn’t do for the first few possessions of the second half.”

After shooting 40.6 percent overall in the first half, the Red Storm shot at a 56 percent clip in the second stanza.

“We didn’t extend as well as we needed to,” Billy Garrett, Jr said of the defense in the second half.  “Overall we didn’t play with enough energy.”

The Blue Demons also contended with foul trouble in the second half.  Joe Hanel fouled out of the game while Levi Cook and Tre McCallum were hampered with foul fouls apiece.

DePaul had four players finish in double-figures.  

Eli Cain led the way for the Blue Demons with 18 points, but was hampered by a leg cramp in the game’s final minutes.

Junior college transfer Tre’Darius McCallum recorded a near double-double of 14 points and nine rebounds.

Garrett contributed 13 points and Chris Harrison-Docks came off the bench to chip in with 12 points including three 3-pointers.

The backcourt duo of Marcus Lovett and Shamorie Ponds combined for 37 points.  LoVett led all scorers with 22 points on seven of 13 shooting.  Ponds scored 15 points and was five of 12 from the field.  

Darien Williams came off the bench for the Red Storm to add 12 points.  

DePaul will next travel to Newark, New Jersey where they will face the Seton Hall Pirates on Saturday morning.

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