Cal had led by as much as nine points with 1:58 remaining in the first half. The difference for DePaul in the second half was defense. The Blue Demons held California to 25.8% shooting from the field in the second half. For the fourth straight game, the Blue Demons have held their opponent under 40% shooting from the field.
"We really picked it up defensively," said senior Marcus Heard. "We really wanted to contest the shots from behind the arc and take that away from them."
DePaul shot a blistering 70% from the field and scored a season high 57 points in the second half. "The second half I thought we gave up some transition baskets and some kick outs for some threes," said Cal coach Ben Braun. "Give DePaul credit I thought they shot the ball extremely well."
The Bears were playing without center Devon Hardin who is out for eight to twelve weeks with a stress fracture in his left foot.
Cal's Ryan Anderson led all scorers with 24 points and a career high 16 rebounds. Algonquin native Eric Vierneisel returned home with a season high 11 points off the bench for the Bears.
DePaul featured five players in double figures for the first time this season. Sophomore forward Wilson Chandler led the Demons with 22 points.
Junior guard Draelon Burns contributed 16 points off the bench. Burns is enjoying his role as the Demons sixth man. "I'm starting to like the role. Some like it when I come in to help out. They're proud of me when I come in to help out."
"Draelon Burns has really been on a tear lately," said Blue Demons coach Jerry Wainwright. "He has embraced his role. He's been practicing great."
Senior forward Marcus Heard stepped up with 13 points, all of which came in the second half. "Marcus Heard is a great story. I just hope everybody appreciates what he's been able to do for our team. It couldn't happen to a nicer kid."
Sophomore guard Jabari Currie scored nine of his 12 points in the second half. "We got a terrific lift from Jabari Currie," said Wainwright. "We were able to get a little bit bigger on the perimeter. He had a terrific bounce back performance."
Senior guard Sammy Mejia chipped in with 12 points, eight rebounds, and a season high six assists.
The Blue Demons (8-5) depth had to wear down the Bears in the second half. DePaul got 46 of their points from the bench. "They've got some guys who came in and played very well for their team off the bench," said Braun. "It's nice to have that lift to get some of their guys a break, keep them out of foul trouble, and they can get their energy back."
Wainwright has been working his guys so hard in practice, he isn't expecting a very good holiday season. "To tell you the truth, my sock is empty. I've got no presents from my team right now."
Game Notes from DePaul Sports Information
DePaul has won six of their last of their last seven games.
DePaul has won eight straight games at the Allstate Arena, a streak dating back to February 25, 2006 when the Blue Demons defeated Seton Hall, 67-64
DePaul leads the all-time series with Cal 3-2.
Sammy Mejia registered a season high six assists.
Jabari Currie recorded a season high 12 points
Thijin Moses is now 7-10 from behind the arc this season.
Official Box Score
DePaul Defeats Depleted Cal Squad 90-62
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