For the game, Tucker led DePaul with a game-high 16 points and five rebounds. Freshman Devin Hill had a breakout performance, pitching in with seven points and 13 rebounds. The win snaps the Blue Demons' four game losing streak, and now brings the team's record to 5-4 for the season.
A deeper analysis into the numbers show how the game was won for the Blue Demons.
DePaul didn't dominate Liberty statistically, even though the Blue Demons were better than the Flames in most of the categories. As the numbers show, this game was a closely contested one.
Both DePaul and Liberty were nearly identical in their offensive efficiency. Although the Flames outshot the Blue Demons from the field, DePaul's ability to limit its turnovers (8) and create second opportunities on offense (11 offensive rebounds) played a major role in being the more efficient team offensively. While possessions were being gained for DePaul (+3), they were being lost for Liberty (-3). In such a tightly contested game such as this one, any extra possessions gained were a luxury.
As previously mentioned, the Flames shot the ball much better than the Blue Demons. The key for Liberty, especially in the second half as the team made its run, was the three-point shot. For the game, the Flames shot 35% from three-point range (12-34). DePaul was unable to match its foes' production, shooting a meager 20% from beyond the arc (6-29). Both squads made the same number of shots (23) but for Liberty, the three-pointer played a huge factor in the game. Flames' star freshman, Seth Curry (brother of Stephen Curry), struggled with his shot the entire game but did manage to go 4-5 from downtown in leading Liberty's comeback attempt (coincidentally, those were all his field goals).
The offensive rebounding percentage was in DePaul's favor, directly attributed to the fact that the team was able to beat the Flames on the offensive boards. For the game, the Blue Demons amassed 11 offensive rebounds, compared to eight for Liberty. DePaul narrowly out-rebounded its opponent, hauling in 36 rebounds compared to 35 for the Flames. Devin Hill led the attack on the glass, hauling in a career-high 13 rebounds for the Blue Demons (1/3 of the team's total).
For the first time this season, free-throws won a game for DePaul. Although the Blue Demons shot below average from the charity stripe (12-18, 66.7%), the team made its free-throws when it counted and for the game, DePaul shot better from the line compared to Liberty (5-12, 41.7%). Dar Tucker, who made the game-winning free throws, has gotten into a groove lately from the line, making 20 of his last 30 attempts (80%).
DePaul's next game comes against Southern on Friday, December 19th at Allstate Arena. This will be the first ever meeting for both programs.