Sophomore Dar Tucker led the way for the Blue Demons with 21 points, six rebounds, and three steals. Chicago native Jerome Randle stole the show, however, for the Golden Bears, tallying a game-high 24 points along with six assists, four rebounds, and two steals. The loss becomes the first of the season for DePaul and snaps the team's 4-game winning streak.
A deeper analysis into the numbers show how the game was lost for the Blue Demons.
Aside from the turnover percentage, the rest of the numbers favored the Golden Bears. The loss for DePaul can be attributed to two factors, the lack of efficiency on offense as well as the squad's inability to hit its free-throws.
The offensive efficiency for the Blue Demons was poor. One reason for the lack of efficiency is due to the fact DePaul wasted a number of possessions on offense. The team did a relatively good job of taking care of the ball (only 12 turnovers) but the Blue Demons were ineffective on the offensive glass (only six offensive rebounds). Because of this, DePaul had a net loss of possessions (-6). The main culprit for the lack of efficiency, however, was the Blue Demons' poor shooting performance from three-point range (3-17, 17.6%). DePaul didn't make good use of its possessions on offense as opposed to their opponent, California, who did.
The effective field-goal percentage was low for the Blue Demons. As previously mentioned, the reason can be pointed strictly to DePaul's anemic shooting from the three-point line. The Blue Demons field-goal percentage (44%) closely mirrored its eFG% because of this factor. It should be noted that DePaul's Tucker accounted for roughly a third of the team's attempts from downtown (Tucker went 1-6, team went 3-17) and for the season, the sophomore shoots roughly 40% of the team's three-point attempts (101). It will be interesting to see if Tucker continues to chuck it up from three-point land because so far this season, he is shooting a paltry 27.5% from downtown. As a team, the Blue Demons shoot just 29.7% from three-point range. Part of DePaul's struggles offensively can be pointed towards the team's inability to shoot effectively from three, which directly hurts the team's offensive efficiency.
The offensive rebounding percentage saw a wide disparity between the two squads. California dominated the Blue Demons on the boards, hauling 41 rebounds (10 offensive) compared to 23 rebounds (six offensive) for DePaul. The Golden Bears ability to punish the Blue Demons on the glass played a role in their victory. For the majority of the game, DePaul was unable to get second or third chances on offense, which meant that most possessions ended in 'one and done'.
The free-throw rate saw both teams achieve the same rate, however, this statistic is deceiving. Both teams made the same number of free-throws (10) but the Blue Demons had more opportunities at the charity stripe (21) than their opponent (13). Yet DePaul was unable to punish California from the free-throw line, shooting a poor percentage (47.6%) compared to the Golden Bears (76.9%). It's clear that the Blue Demons inability to shoot a better percentage of free-throws played a factor in the team's loss.
DePaul's next game comes against rival Northwestern on Saturday, December 6th. The two teams met last season at Allstate Arena, where the Blue Demons narrowly defeated the Wildcats, 54-53. Northwestern will be looking to settle the score this time around at Welsh-Ryan Arena.