DePaul Blue Demons (8-13, 1-7) vs. Georgetown Hoyas (12-10, 3-6) – Tuesday, January 30th, 8:00 p.m. Central – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois
Television – Fox Sports 1
Radio – WYLL AM 1160
Following two consecutive wins over ranked opponents (No. 22 Creighton, No. 16 Butler) for the first time in four seasons, the Hoyas (12-10, 3-6 Big East) arrives in Rosemont, Ill. to battle the Blue Demons (8-13, 1-7).
In the 2014 Big East Tournament, DePaul came away with a 60-56 victory versus Georgetown, which represents its last win against the in-conference foe.
Then-sophomore Billy Garrett Jr. scored a team-high 17 points, as well as hitting two free throws with six seconds left to seal the outcome. He was also aided by fellow guard Durrell McDonald, who scored his only two points of the evening on a jumper with 2:48 left to keep DePaul’s firm lead intact.
Despite placing in a tie for fourth-place in the Big East Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the Hoyas appear on the verge missing the NCAA tournament for the third straight campaign. Due to their struggles and a diminished role, forward Isaac Copeland left the program in mid-December and subsequently transferred to Nebraska earlier this month.
Nevertheless, the team has generated aforementioned success of late. In an 85-81 win over Butler, Georgetown hit a stout 63.8 percent clip from the field.
Additionally, center Jessie Govan weaved together one of his most impressive shooting performances of the season, notching 20 points on 8-of-9 from the field. With just over a minute left, the 6-foot-10, 270-pound sophomore drained his third three-pointer of the contest to extend the lead to a two possessions. In total, Govan averages 9.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
Beside him, guards Rodney Pryor and L.J. Peak have combined to provide plenty of offensive production. Pryor, who’s an Evanston, Ill. native, amasses a team-high 18 points per contest, along with shooting 51.4 percent clip overall. His scoring output ranks fourth in the conference. Moreover, Peak tacks on 16.3 points per game with a 45.5 percent clip from the field.
Defensively, both schools are fairly vulnerable to allowing second-chance opportunities. The Blue Demons rank eighth within the Big East in defensive rebounding percentage (69.7) while the Hoyas find themselves directly below them (69.4).
While freshman center Levi Cook sits out with a nagging foot injury, DePaul needs forward Tre'Darius McCallum to provide a consistent effort on the glass. Prior to hauling in only four rebounds against Creighton, the junior collected back-to-back, double-figure rebounding performances. On the flip side, Joe Hanel looked extra aggressive in the 17-point loss to the Bluejays, accumulating nine rebounds.
On top of that, head coach Dave Leitao’s unit can’t undergo another head-scratching stretch offensively if it expects to snap a four-game skid. In the first half versus Creighton, the Blue Demons possessed a mere 25 percent clip from the field. Eli Cain played a big role in those struggles, shooting 4-of-17 overall. Expect a bounce-back showing from the sophomore guard.
The Last Time
On March 9, 2016 in the opening round of the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden, the Blue Demons lost to the Hoyas, 70-53, to end the 2015-16 season.
Plain and simple, Georgetown did an efficient job of making its shots. The Hoyas shot 50 percent from the field.
Meanwhile DePaul was poor across the board, as the Demons shot 37.9 percent from the field, 30 percent from three-point range and 35.3 percent from the free-throw line. The 53 points were the fewest by DePaul in a Big East Tournament game.
The Hoyas set the tone early on and were never really threatened the rest of the way. After the Blue Demons took an early 4-2 lead in the early going, the Hoyas would respond with 18-6 run to get their lead into double-digits.
While DePaul would respond with a 14-7 run to cut the Hoyas lead down to three points, Georgetown would seize back momentum with an 8-0 run to end the half and head into the locker room with all the momentum they would need.
Granted, DePaul would show some fight, as they whittled Georgetown's 11-point halftime lead down to four points on Myke Henry's put-back layup to make it 39-35 with 14:32 to go. But as you can guess, Georgetown would answer again and go on a definitive 14-2 run to take control of the game midway through the second half.
With his career winding down, Hoyas' senior guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera knew he had to have a good game and that he did, as he led the club with 20 points while shooting 4-7 from three-point range.
Simply put, Smith-Rivera would not let his team lose.
For the Demons, it was freshman Eli Cain who was the lone bright spot. Cain's 14's points led the way. Albeit, he only shot 6-16 from the field. No other Demon scored in double figures, as the rest of the team scored just 39 points on 16-42 shooting from the field.
NO NAME HT WT POS YEAR Hometown/High School
0 L.J. Peak 6-5 215 G JR Gaffney, S.C./Gaffney
1 Tre Campbell 6-2 170 G JR Washington, D.C./St. John's College HS
2 Jonathan Mulmore 6-4 185 G JR New Orleans, La./Redemption Christian
4 Jagan Mosely 6-3 205 G FR Morganville, N.J./St. Anthony's
5 Reggie Cameron II 6-7 225 F SR Hackensack, N.J./Hudson Catholic
10 Ra'Mond Hines 6-4 175 G JR Washington, D.C./Gonzaga
15 Jessie Govan 6-10 270 C SO Queens Village, N.Y./Wings Academy
20 George Muresan 6-9 210 F FR Potomac, Md./St. Andrew's
22 Akoy Agau 6-8 235 F JR Omaha, Neb./Omaha Central
23 Rodney Pryor 6-5 205 G GS Evanston, Ill./Notre Dame Prep
24 Marcus Derrickson 6-7 250 F SO Bowie, Md./Brewster Academy (N.H.)
32 Kaleb Johnson 6-6 205 G/F SO South Hill, Va./The Carlisle School
33 Trey Mourning 6-9 230 F JR Miami, Fla./Ransom Everglades
42 Bradley Hayes 7-0 275 C SR Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood