DePaul Rallies for Win Over Rutgers

While the mercury on the thermometer outside Allstate Arena was in the single digits, inside the Rutgers Scarlet Knights were scorching hot from the field. Yet the determined DePaul Blue Demons were not going to be denied as they rallied from behind for a 75-73 win.

The visiting Rutgers (8-11, 0-6) men's basketball team shot a blistering season-high 61.7% from the field and an amazing 61.5% from behind the arc. Not bad for a young team that's had their struggles on the road this season.

But it was DePaul (8-9, 4-2) that defied the statistics to mount a comeback in a game where they trailed by as many as 15 points with 6:16 remaining in the first half. It was the largest deficit that DePaul has overcome this season.

"I feel like we grew as a team," said DePaul freshman captain Mac Koshwal. "No matter what happened, we kept playing."

It was a Darquavis Tucker three pointer that put the Blue Demons up for good at 71-69 with 2:56 left in the game. "I was open, I was just trying to put some points on the board," said Tucker who played the entire second half and finished with 12 points.

J.R. Inman led all scorers with 22 points, while guard Anthony Farmer contributed 17 for the Scarlet Knights. DePaul held freshman sensation Corey Chandler to eight points.

"I don't think anything went wrong," said Rutgers coach Fred Hill, Jr. "It was a helluva college basketball game."

Hill's focus was to take away the Blue Demons perimeter game. The Scarlet Knights successfully held DePaul to 28.6% from behind the arc. "We thought they could really hurt you with threes," Hill remarked. "They did a very good job of then driving the ball. We took away what we thought was going to be a weapon for them. They in turn drove the basketball at us and did a very good job."

Koshwal, who is recovering from a flu bug, led the inside game for the Demons with 18 points and five rebounds. "Coach said to try to go down low and attack their big men," said Mac.

"I thought Koshwal did a very, very good job today," Hill said. "He's athletic. He's strong. He made some tough, tough shots that we haven't seen on film. He shot it over our big guys. He was an equal opportunity scorer against our guys today."

DePaul outmuscled Rutgers for 13 offensive rebounds. "I thought that in the second half they really had us on the glass," Hill observed. "It's something we didn't do well down the stretch of the game. They got a couple of big offensive rebounds that were critical for second shot opportunities, stickbacks, and possessions. A few of them led to fouls."

Draelon Burns led DePaul with 20 points. "Draelon Burns might have been as solid as he was all year," said Demons coach Jerry Wainwright.

The Blue Demons headed into the locker room trailing 42-35. After intermission, Wainwright adjusted by starting the combination of Koshwal, Burns, Tucker, Jabari Currie, and Will Walker.

"The story of the game was the kids off the bench," said Wainwright, as the DePaul bench outscored Rutgers by a 32-16 margin.

Junior college transfer Matija Posic chipped in off the bench with a breakout game. Poscic scored career-high 10 points and picked up five rebounds. "What I tried to do with him today is focus on using two hands," said Wainwright. "I thought he made some really great post moves."

The Blue Demons step out of Big East conference play on Monday night with a home game against Florida Gulf Coast University.

Game Notes from DePaul Sports Information

- DePaul overcame a 15 point deficit. It was the Blue Demons' largest deficit overcome this season.

- Draelon Burns led the Blue Demons with 20 points. Burns has scored in double figures 13 times this season and has led DePaul in scoring nine times this season.

- Matija Poscic scored a career-high 10 points while grabbing five rebounds.

- DePaul shot .508 (31-61) from the field. The Blue Demons are 5-0 when shooting better than 50.0% from the field.

- DePaul leads the all-time series with Rutgers, 2-1. The Blue Demons have won the last two meetings.

Box Score

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