Austin Chatman added 11 while Ethan Wragge went 3-for-5 from downtown as the Bluejays (19-3, 9-1 BIG East) held serve with Villanova, who won their game over Seton Hall earlier, for the BIG East lead. It was not one of Creighton's best performances, shooting 46% from their field and 28% from three.
DePaul guard Brandon Young scored 16 while Forrest Robinson had a career-high 11 points, helping the Blue Demon squad still missing forward Cleveland Melvin (suspension). DePaul (10-14, 2-9) trailed by 14 in the first half, but were able to cut the deficit to one in the second half, down 59-58. The Demons dominated the glass early in the half, led by Young's seven rebounds. DeJuan Marrero grabbed six boards, while big men Tommy Hamilton and Sandi Marcius pulled down five of their own.
Missing backup guard Devin Brooks (illness), the Bluejays welcomed back guard Grant Gibbs, who dislocated his right kneecap in their last meeting. Gibbs scored 7 and had eight assists off the bench, including some pretty passes to McDermott, who is now 17th on the all-time scoring list. The senior also surpassed 1,000 career rebounds and 1,000 career field goals, going 9-21 from the field and bringing down eight rebounds. Creighton was able to break out of their funk late thanks to a 14-2 run late in the game, aided by 11 McDermott free throws.
Creighton now gets the interesting matchup of playing against the red-hot St. John's Red Storm under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden. DePaul, now on a season-high six-game losing streak, will see their schedule get no easier when they face No. 6 Villanova at home on Wednesday.