Demons Douse Flames, 77-56

Thanks to the efforts of senior guard Will Walker on the perimeter, sophomore forward Devin Hill on the inside, and sophomore guard Mike Bizoukas on the defensive end, the DePaul Blue Demons extinguished the UIC Flames 77-56 at Allstate Arena on Sunday night.

In a battle of crosstown rivals, Will Walker surpassed the 1,000 point career mark for DePaul (6-3) on a 3-pointer early in the second half as he led the way for DePaul with 18 points including four of seven from beyond the arc. Walker also contributed with five steals, seven rebounds, and three assists. Will became only the 45th Blue Demon in school history to join the 1,000 point club.

Devin Hill, who has been starting at the center position since November 23rd for the Blue Demons, got his interior game going with 12 points, nine rebounds, and five blocks.

"I thought Devin Hill was a real factor in the game," said DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright. "Devin is playing out of position right now. I think it's helping him. It's allowing him to build his game inside-out, which I think is really important for him."

Playing the center position has also earned Hill a new nickname.

"(Wainwright) put me at center when we were in the Virgin Islands and we ended up winning the game. I just started accepting it. Will calls me ‘D5' because I'm playing center now. I just got to help out where I can and play wherever Coach wants me to play."

Michael Bizoukas chipped in with five points, eight assists, nine rebounds, and three steals. Where Bizoukas made the biggest impact was on the defensive end. After UIC junior guard Robo Kreps drained his third 3-pointer in the early going, Wainwright assigned Bizoukas to guard Kreps. That was arguably the turning point in the game as Bizoukas held Kreps to just one more three point basket the rest of the way.

"I thought he did an outstanding job," said Wainwright. "We changed the coverage on our screens a little bit. Mike had an outstanding game and really took his defensive responsibilities seriously."

"Mike is an old throwback gymrat," Jerry added. "He is so unpretentious. Deep down he may be one of our toughest players, because he loves the game and he practices the way he plays and that's a credit to him."

Kreps led UIC (1-6) with 18 points.

"When they put Michael on me, he wouldn't let me get the ball and he wasn't helping off the ball," Kreps said.

"I was basically covering him everywhere he went," said Bizoukas. "I just wanted to make life as hard as possible for him. That was the main thing, don't let him touch it."

Sophomore guard Jeremiah Kelly contributed with 11 points, six rebounds, and three assists.

UIC center K.C. Robbins threw an elbow at DePaul's Mario Stula early in the first half which earned him a flagrant foul call and an ejection.

"I want to apologize to the Demon fans and the Flames fans for that elbow that K.C. threw,"said UIC coach Jimmy Collins. "I don't teach our kids that. We don't like it and we don't advocate it."

Only two Flames finished in double-figures as DePaul held UIC to 32.7% from the field. Sophomore guard Zavion Neely finished with 11 points.

DePaul returns to Allstate Arena, where there are undefeated this season, on Wednesday for a non-conference tilt with American University.

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