House of Horrors Haunts DePaul

The Bradley Center once again turned into a house of horrors for the Blue Demons as they fell 79-71 to Marquette in front of a record crowd of 19,037 fans. The loss, which dropped DePaul to 9-10, 4-3 in the Big East, was due in large part to sloppy play. 18 DePaul turnovers led to 17 Marquette points, and numerous fast break opportunities in which the Golden Eagles capitalized for 27 points.

Dominic James led Marquette with 19 points, while Mac Koshwal led the Blue Demons with 19 points, 12 rebounds.

The first half was physical and saw both teams have prolonged stretches of poor offensive possessions. Marquette started the game 3-14 from the field which helped give DePaul a 15-8 lead midway through the first half. The lead was short lived however as Blue Demon guards settled for jumpers and hit a cold streak going 3-for-16 from the field for an eight minute stretch. In that stretch Marquette came back to take a four point lead, and chipped away at the lead by attacking the basket and going 9-of-10 from the free throw line. Although the focus for practice lately has been rebounding, turnovers at critical times also killed DePaul's early momentum.

"I think we turned the ball over in four advantage situations where we had a break," said DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright of the first half.

The second half saw Marquette come out running as they took advantage of more turnovers and a short DePaul bench as they jumped out to a 40-29 lead. DePaul, playing without forward Matija Poscic, found itself short handed and winded at times in a physical contest as they fell behind.

"They had a great effort tonight and they caught us with a burst in the second half," said Wainwright. "We could never get over the hump. I thought the crowd energized them and helped them maintain a pace in the second half that was very successful."

"It was a pretty physical game, and we need to be tough," said Draelon Burns, who contributed 19 points while playing 36 minutes in front of family and friends. "I got really excited when I got out there and I got winded, that's why coach took me out early."

Although DePaul found itself down double digits in the second half on a couple occasions, they came roaring back thanks in large part to the play of freshman captain Mac Koshwal. Koshwal, who's three point play with 15:59 remaining cut the Golden Eagle lead to single digits pounded the floor in excitement after the play. "I just banged the floor because I hit my knee," Koshwal said of the play. "I was trying to find some way to get some energy."

The Blue Demons seemed to do a great job pulling within six points, but saw their efforts evaporate quickly as Marquette played efficiently. "I thought that this was one of Dominic James' best games at Marquette," said Marquette coach Tom Crean. "Every time he came out of the game he was spent, but he recharged, came back in and gave it his all. He's in great shape, and he was very good with the ball on most possessions."

"It seemed like every time we cut the lead to six points we turned the ball over and they converted," said Draelon Burns. "That's what good teams do."

Although down the entire second half, the Blue Demons continued to play hard as they somehow managed to stay in the game until Marquette three pointers and a jumper by Lazar Hayward gave the Golden Eagles a commanding 74-57 lead with just over three minutes to go. DePaul played hard on the glass and did a better job of getting to the foul line in the second half, but the balanced scoring of the Golden Eagles did them in. Marquette finished with four players in double figures and converted 15-of-17 free throws. "We're not going to lose many games where they're 6-of-19 (from 3 point range) but they were 15-of-17 from the line and that hurt us," said Wainwright.

"Overall I can't fault our effort," said Wainwright on the team's second half. "The toughest statistic for us would be the turnovers. Turnovers led to points. We've been pretty good not turning the basketball over."

Game Notes

- Crowd of 19,037 is also a Wisconsin state record for a college basketball game.

- Jerel McNeal scored his 1,000th point with 4:23 left in the first half. McNeal became the 39th player in Marquette history to reach 1,000 points.

Box Score

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