Flames Heat Up in Win Over DePaul

The Blue Demons just haven't been able to shake an overtime loss to Vanderbilt earlier this week. The impact of that game carried over into Saturday night's 85-80 loss to the UIC Flames.

DePaul (2-5) lost their third straight game and third home game of the season. Wednesday's heartbreaking overtime loss to Vanderbilt is one the Blue Demons haven't been able to get out of their minds. "We took the loss against Vanderbilt very hard," said senior guard Draelon Burns. "We came into this game with a burden on our shoulders. I think it took a toll on us today."

"We're not real good right now putting things behind us," said Blue Demons coach Jerry Wainwright. "I felt it and I tried several different approaches. We just didn't put Wednesday behind us. We're not tough enough and mature enough to fight through it. We get deflated real easy."

UIC guard Robert Kreps heated up the Flames while shooting seven of nine from the field and four of six from behind the arc to lead UIC with a career high 19 points. Kreps didn't hesitate to shoot when open. "We forgot our assignments, that's what got them open a lot," said Burns.

UIC's leading scorer coming into the game, Josh Mayo, finished with 18 while going a perfect six for six from the charity stripe.

Four Flames finished in double figures. Guard Stewart Spencer contributed 16 points. While seven footer Scott Vandermeer chipped in with 13.

The Blue Demons shot 38% from the field and struggled from the free throw line for the second straight game going 64.5% on foul shots.

DePaul had three players in double figures. Freshman Darquavis Tucker led all scorers with a career high 26 points, and was three of five on trifectas. Dar tied his career high of 11 rebounds. Tucker also was nine of 10 on free throws.

Burns scored 21 points for his fifth double-digit effort of the season.

Freshman captain Mac Koshwal contributed with 16 points and snared 11 rebounds for his first career double-double effort. It was the DePaul freshmen, Koshwal and Tucker, that shone brightest in this one. "A positive is that our two young kids have shown terrific spirit and great enthusiasm and really compete," Wainwright said. "They very seldom are in the right place right now, but they continue to play hard and have been a real positive. Both of them have approached practice the right way and everything else."

From here the Blue Demons travel to Puerto Rico where they will play three games in three days in the San Juan Shootout and face two likely ranked teams in Mississippi and Clemson. "We need to try to regroup in the next week, and obviously it doesn't get any easier because of the teams that we play, but hopefully we'll bounce back and get more guys playing well rather than just the ones that have been consistent over a period of time," expressed Wainwright.

Notes

- Prior to the game, DePaul's Kene Obi, a 7-2 260 pound freshman center, was certified to participate in intercollegiate contests by the NCAA. Obi dressed for the game, but did not see action.

- The game was the first Saturday night home game at Allstate Arena for the Demons since March 5, 1994 when DePaul beat Memphis State 65-53.

- Dar Tucker recorded his second career double-double while Mac Koshwal recorded his first.

- Cliff Clinkscales' three assists moved him to 19th on DePaul's all-time list with 266 career assists. He passed Joe Ponsetto (1974-78) who had 264 career handouts.

- DePaul did not commit a turnover until the 5:50 mark of the first half.

Box Score


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