DePaul Defeats Albany to Open Season

DePaul hadn't won a men's basketball season opener in four years. The Blue Demons made sure that they got off on the right foot this season with a 75-64 win over the Albany Great Danes at McGrath Arena in Lincoln Park on Monday night.

Sophomore sensation Dar Tucker worked his magic again for DePaul (1-0) as he led all scorers with 23 points. Tucker also drew the task of guarding Albany leading scorer Will Harris, an assignment which Dar was relishing. "I've just got to take that challenge and go with it," Tucker said after holding Harris to 11 points.

The Blue Demons had four players in double-figures. Junior guard Will Walker scored 19 points on eight of 14 shooting and snatched three steals. "I thought Will Walker was really composed," said DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright. "He put his head down and really got to the basket when we needed him. He had a couple of big steals. I thought Will really stepped up as a leader."

Senior guard Jabari Currie scored 11 points, all of which came in the first half. Jeremiah Kelly contributed with 10 points on three of eight from the field in his freshman debut for the Demons.

Kelly and redshirt freshman Mike Bizoukas give DePaul a point guard tandem that Demons coach Jerry Wainwright likes. "Mike defensively really sets the pace for us," Wainwright said. "He really wears on you. I thought Jeremiah today had a chance to score. I just thought it was Jeremiah's night. It's great to have both of them, because they can play off of each other. Both of those young point guards are going to be really good. Both are a little bit different which makes it nice. They both love the game."

The Great Danes (0-2) had three players in double-figures. Junior guard Mike Johnson came off the bench to score 16 points and grab eight rebounds. Sophomore wing Louis Barraza also came off the bench to contribute with 13 points

Sophomore forward Mac Koshwal snatched 10 rebounds in the contest.

DePaul's defense stole the ball seven times and forced the Danes into 20 turnovers. The Demons scored 26 points off of turnovers.

The Blue Demons opened the season on campus for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. Players and students alike prefer the environment that the on-campus arena brings. "You really feel it in this gym instead of the other gym (Allstate Arena), because (the fans) are so far back in the other gym," said Tucker.

Note: Freshman center Krys Faber did not play in the first half due to being disciplined for being late for a basketball obligation.

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