But the Cowboys would have been preparing to face Cal-State Northridge in a consolation game if not for the performance of Moses, who was 11-for-14 from the field (compared to 10 of 32 for the rest of the team), and was a perfect 5-of-5 from the free-throw line for his career-best 27 points. His previous best scoring effort was 23 points against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Dec. 13, 2009.
"He was just better than anybody else on the court tonight," Ford said of Moses. "He played like an All-American tonight. He took a team on his shoulders when we couldn't get anything going whatsoever offensively. He was a one-man wrecking crew.
"I loved how he did it. He did by posting (up), he did it by tipping in second chance shots, he did it from the free-throw line, he did it with a jumper here and there. He had an all-around game. The only reason he was able to do it is because from the time the ball was tipped (to begin the game) he played extremely hard.
"I mean he was diving on the floor, he was making all those second-chance effort points, and those are the things that make Marshall a good player. If he loses any of that he comes average," Ford added.
The Cowboys won despite committing 25 turnovers and making just 1 of 10 three-point shots against a DePaul team that is now 1-2 under first-year head coach Oliver Purnell.
"It wasn't the prettiest thing but we're excited we won the game against a solid Big East (Conference) team," said Ford. "I told our team in the locker room that this is a prime example and learning lesson.
"The one thing we've been telling our guys is that offense can come and go, whether it be turnovers, whether it be missed shots (and), those type of things, but tonight we won with our defense. That's one thing you should be able to count on night in and night out, and we rebounded the ball extremely well, especially in the second half.
"We were our own worst enemy tonight. We just kept throwing the ball (away). Our guards have got to make much better decisions than we're making. I don't want to take anything from DePaul, but a lot of it was decision making. Just making poor decisions," Ford continued.
Moses scored six of his team's final eight points – over the final 3:32 – to rally the Cowboys for the victory. His basket in the low post, slipping between a pair of Blue Demon defenders, tied the game 52-52 with 2:35 remaining in the game.
Jéan-Paul Olukemi's easy basket put the Cowboys ahead for good just 17 seconds later and Moses stretched it to 56-52 when he rebounded Ray Penn's errant shot and laid it in with 1:10 on the clock.
Darrell Williams made two free throws with 18 seconds left in the game and Moses added two more with 5.3 seconds on the clock to sew up the victory and send the Cowboys into Friday's semifinals.
"Our defense won for us tonight, no doubt about it, and Marshall Moses, let's not forget him," Ford said.
Keiton Page was the only other Cowboy in double figures as he scored 11 points despite a terrible shooting night (2 of 12). Williams contributed 9 points and 8 rebounds, while Olukemi finished with 9 points and 7 rebounds.
Virginia Tech, 3-1, advanced to the semifinals with a 72-56 victory over Cal-State Northridge earlier Thursday. Tipoff for Friday's semifinal will be 1:30 p.m. (Central time).
Marshall Moses: 34
Darrell Williams: 15
Jean-Paul Olukemi: 11
Keiton Page: 4
Matt Pilgrim: 2
Fred Gulley: 1
Nick Sidorakis: 0
Jarred Shaw: -1
Markel Brown: -1
Ray Penn: -5
Reger Dowell: DNP
Mike Cobbins: DNP
Brian Williams: DNP
Roger Franklin: DNP
Zathan Simpson: DNP
Songo Adoki: DNP