Freshman guard Jeremiah Kelly and sophomore forward Dar Tucker both made critical plays at the end of the contest to squelch the Sycamores furious rally. Tucker led the Blue Demons with a game-high 26 points along with nine rebounds and two steals. Kelly turned in another good performance, pitching in with 11 points and two steals. The win means that DePaul is 4-0 for the first time since 2002.
A deeper analysis into the numbers show how the game was won for the Blue Demons.
Most of the numbers favored DePaul aside from the effective field-goal percentage, where the Blue Demons were slightly worse than their opponent. Although the statistics don't explicitly show it, the main reason why DePaul was able to escape with a victory was due to the fact the team was able to create more possessions on offense than Indiana State.
DePaul's efficiency was solid against the Sycamores. For the second straight game, the Blue Demons were able to keep their turnovers low (13) and amass a considerable number of offensive rebounds (17). Because of that, DePaul was able to create a few extra possessions on offense (+4). Conversely, Indiana State's efficiency on offense wasn't as good due to the fact the Sycamores amassed more turnovers (15) than offensive rebounds (12), which meant the team lost some possessions on offense (-3). Considering how close the game ended up being in the second half, the difference in how many possessions were created or lost played a huge factor in deciding who would win the game. In the end, DePaul was the beneficiary of this factor.
The effective field goal percentage favored Indiana State by a decent margin. Statistically, the Sycamores outperformed the Blue Demons on offense, which is surprising considering how well DePaul played offensively in the first half. For the game, Indiana State shot better than the Blue Demons from the field (42.6%) and from the free-throw line (85.7%). Both teams shot fairly even from three-point range; however, DePaul was able to shoot at a slightly better percentage (33%). It shouldn't be understated that the Blue Demons ability to create extra possessions on offense is the reason why the team was able to come away with the victory despite shooting the ball poorly.
The offensive rebounding percentage saw DePaul perform better on the boards than their opponent. The rebounding totals were nearly identical, with the Blue Demons grabbing 37 boards compared to 36 for Indiana State. Yet as previously mentioned, DePaul held a small edge on the offensive glass, hauling in 17 offensive rebounds compared to 12 for the Sycamores.
The free-throw rate was better for the Blue Demons, but that was mainly attributed to DePaul's ability to go to the charity stripe much more often (25 FTA) than Indiana State (14 FTA). However, the Blue Demons weren't able to punish the Sycamores enough, only connecting on 16 free-throws (64%). This is the third straight game in which DePaul has had chances to put their opponent away if the team made their free-throws at a higher percentage. As a whole for the season, the Blue Demons shoot only 66% from the free-throw line, which is below average compared to the rest of the nation. Also, DePaul's opponents are shooting 80% from the free-throw line. Sooner or later, the Blue Demons inability to shoot better from the line will cost the team some victories if it doesn't improve its percentage.
DePaul's next game is against California on the road on Wednesday, December 3rd. This will be the first time these two squads meet since 2006, when the Blue Demons faced off against the Golden Bears and won 90-62. For Cal and new head coach Mike Montgomery, they will be looking to settle the score against DePaul.