Down One with 11 seconds left, the Season Rested in Max Strus’s Hands
On a complete defensive mishap by Marquette, Eli Cain found Max Strus wide open for a potential game winning 3-point shot with 5 seconds left in the game. Strus took the shot, and left it short, and DePaul lost, yet again, by less than 5 points for the 8th time on the season.
I have watched this play an unhealthy amount of times, but hey, let’s relive it again.
Marquette’s Andrew Rowsey completely messed up this pick and pop. Rowsey should be sending Strus a wheel of Wisconsin cheese for the following:
Missing the shot
Not driving to the basket
Not passing to a wide open Brandon Cyrus
For standing around admiring his missed shot instead of running towards the basket in case he missed.
Things looked dire in the early going as Marin Maric picked up 2 early fouls and Max Strus picked up 3 fouls with 8:43 to go in the 1st Half. Strus picked up 2 fouls on one play when he clearly charged into the Xavier defender and then kept talking to the referee.
In the arena, I was pretty sure that it must have been a block for Strus to be so upset, but after having time to watch multiple angles of the various replays, it was about as clear a charge as you will ever see.
When your two most reliable offensive players are out of the game, and you see that the Demons were down by 12 (22-10), it sure felt like game over. However, the lineup of Hanel, McCallum, Cyrus, Roberts, and Cain, scored on 5 consecutive shots, closing the gap to 2 points (25-23).
Down 22-10 with Strus and Maric out with foul trouble, this lineup of McCallum, Hanel, Roberts, Cyrus, and Cain make 5 consecutive shots to bring it to 25-23. Kept #DePaul in the game against #Xavier. #dpubbpic.twitter.com/Y3LWB6iZIC
Down 5 at the Half, the Blue Demons Smother the Golden Eagles to Get Their First Home Conference Win
Holy crap! DePaul won a home conference game at Wintrust Arena for the first time ever! DePaul splits the season series with Marquette for the 3rd time in 4 years. Sure seems like a rivalry to me. Yep, it’s a rivalry again. More fun was putting a big damper on the Golden Eagles’ chances in getting an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament. Good Times!
Most of DePaul’s fans dressed as something other than blue seats for the second time this season. But instead of dressing up in Notre Dame Green and Gold, they dressed in Marquette Navy and Gold; I didn’t know it was Holloween. So weird that they do not dress in DePaul colors for these home games.
In my game preview, I mentioned that DePaul had to fear 3 main players, Markus Howard, if he played, Andrew Rowsey, and Sam Hauser. Howard was questionable for the game, but after warmups looked like he would play. Rowsey got himself in early foul trouble, which immediately benefited the Blue Demons. Howard was brought in for his first action in a week, coming off a hip injury. He looked a little off, but was relatively effective. The early fouls seemed to keep the shooters out of rhythm, which was nice. All three players ended up with double-figures, but none of them killed the demons all ending with below average offensive ratings, 94 for Hauser, and 87 for both Rowsey and Howard (100 is average).
On the DePaul side, Max Strus was the game MVP with 20 points on 6-13 shooting and a very important 7-7 from the free throw line. He did have 6 turnovers, but redeemed himself with 11 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal.
The game had 2 major runs. One by Marquette in the 1st half, and then a nice run by DePaul in the 2nd half, where the Demons help the Golden Eagles without a point for 6 minutes.
A 19-16 lead by the Blue Demons turned into a 31-22 deficit, until a 3 pt play by Strus at 3:03 left end a 17-3 run by Marquette.
We have been here before. DePaul played a close, tight game, made the opponent sweat, and then let them off the hook. Like the Northwestern game (a game in which DePaul missed 15 free-throws), a team that shoots over 70% on the year from the free-throw line, loses the game by missing 10 free-throws in a 5 point loss. If you read my preview to this game, you would have read that it was imperative for the Blue Demons to keep Seton Hall, and especially Angel Delgado off of the boards. Instead, they allowed Delgado to get a double-double in the 1st half! Delgado lead the Pirates to a 12 point first have lead. Most of Blue Demon nation were ready to turn off our TVs, when the Demons inexplicably stormed back on a 10-0 run to end the half.
The Pirates’ Timely 3 Point Shooting Plus Immense Physicality Doomed the Demons
Let’s cut to the chase, If you read my preview to this game, I’ll wait for you here…you would’ve read that in general Seton Hall was a balanced team, but that DePaul needed to fear 2 players, Angel Delgado and Myles Powell.
Who killed the Demons today? Angel Delgado and Myles Powell.
For the First Time this Season, DePaul Delivers on Final Possession
We’ve been here before… The clock is winding down, the ball is in the hands of Eli Cain, Cain drives, and…he misses (against Oregon)….and… he misses (against Northwestern)….and… he misses (against Xavier).
But hey, yesterday was a new day! The clock was winding down, the ball was in the hands of Eli Cain. Cain drove, stepped back, and drilled the game winner.
DePaul Blows 16 point 2nd Half Lead by gifting 14 Turnovers in last 17 Minutes of Game
I could just stop there, but I won’t. It has become a revolving theme this season. With the exception of the games against, #1 Villanova and #2 Michigan State, DePaul has been in every game with the top 85 programs (see how I got Illinois included in this discussion). Every one of them. DePaul has also lost every one of them. EVERY ONE OF THEM.