After leading 27-25 at halftime, the sophomore duo of Dar Tucker and Mac Koshwal stepped up big in the second half for DePaul allowing them to break away from Detroit. Koshwal and Tucker combined for 40 points in the contest.
The game was a physical battle on the inside that featured 32 points scored in the paint by Detroit and the Titans holding a 39 to 36 margin on the boards. "It was tough for some of our younger inside guys," said DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright. "I thought they got bumped around a little bit. They understand finally what I was talking about in terms of physical play in the post."
The Blue Demons seemed to lack energy in the first half. "I felt like we were a step short tonight," Wainwright said. "We just didn't have a lot of giddy-up. We got beat to a lot of loose balls and a lot of balls bouncing out of our hands. Obviously we lost the rebounding battle."
Tucker led all scorers with 22 points and was four of seven from behind the arc. "I thought this was maybe one of Dar Tucker's best all-around games," Wainwright observed. "Four steals, a couple of blocks, a couple of assists, seven rebounds, six free throws. I thought he took good shots from the three point line. He always seemed to answer. He made big shots. I thought he was real composed."
Koshwal contributed 18 points and nine rebounds. "I thought Mac Koshwal was a guy that had some energy tonight," Wainwright remarked.
"It's good to start 3-0, but we aren't satisfied," said Koshwal. "We're just going to keep working hard. Like Coach said in the locker room, we still haven't played a (full) game yet. We just need to keep playing the same way, don't get satisfied with the win and continue to work hard."
Senior forward Matija Poscic chipped with nine points and a career high nine rebounds.
Former Chicago Curie High guard Donavan Foster and forward Xavier Keeling led the way for the Titans with 15 points apiece.
The Titans kept clawing at the DePaul lead in the second half, yet the Blue Demons were able to pull away down the stretch. "We just try to play together," said Koshwal. "If one person is down, we just have to help them and pull them up. We just kept playing, the Titans just kept fighting. They didn't quit, they just kept coming. We just kept going and playing with our intensity. It was a great win."
Next up for the Blue Demons is the Indiana State Sycamores, who come to Allstate Arena for a 1:00 p.m. tipoff on Saturday.
- The Blue Demons helped out at a non-profit organization on Tuesday carving turkeys for upcoming Thanksgiving dinners served by Little Brothers, Friends of the Elderly.
- Dar Tucker, a Saginaw, Michigan product, was familiar with two Titans – Eulis Stephens and Xavier Keeling, having seen them play in high school.
- DePaul is 23-6 all-time in the Rosemont openers and has won 10 of its last 11.
- The win, snapped a three game Allstate Arena loosing streak. The last Blue Demon win in Rosemont, came on Feb. 9, 2008 against South Florida, 69-61.
- DePaul is 3-0 for the first time since 2003-04.
- With 22 points, Dar Tucker led the Blue Demons for the second time in the young season. The sophomore has led the Blue Demons in scoring 11 times in his career.
- Dating back to last season, Tucker has scored 20+ points in four of his last six games. This season, Tucker has scored 20+ against Albany (23) and tonight. It is Tucker's 23rd career game in double-figures.
- Matija Poscic posted a career-high nine rebounds.
DePaul Puts Away Detroit, 71-62
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