The Battle for Chicago came down to the wire, with all of the dramatics as its last encounter in 2013, but when the final buzzer sounded, it was Northwestern standing tall in a 78-70 overtime win over their Lincoln Park rivals DePaul.
DePaul (5-6) was forced to go the majority of the first half without Billy Garrett, who sat the final 18 minutes of the frame with two fouls. Aaron Simpson took charge in Garrett's absence with 13 first-half points, including 3 of 4 field goals from deep.
Once Garrett re-entered, he quickly made up for lost time, scoring five points in the opening minutes of the second half and finding Myke Henry on a beautiful feed underneath the basket for two. Henry exploded in the second half for 14 points and a perfect line from the charity stripe. He finished with a game-high 24 points.
DePaul kept their composure with Garrett and Eli Cain in foul trouble, limiting the turnovers and flustering a Wildcat offense that came into the game shooting 39 percent from 3-point range. It took a while before Northwestern were able to get into a rhythm offensively, shooting 39 percent from the field, well below their season average of 48 percent, and connecting on just 5 of 26 3-point attempts. But clutch three's from star Tre Demps in regulation and two tre's from Aaron Falzon in overtime pushed Northwestern to victory.
DePaul's inability to capitalize at the free-throw line early hindered them from pulling away, missing 4 of 10 in the first half, and it came back to haunt them as Northwestern made a late run to take the lead. After free throws by Garrett and Henry put the Blue Demons back up by three, the Wildcats came back with a deuce by Bryant McIntosh and a freebie from Sanjay Lumpkin. After Garrett failed to give DePaul the lead on their final possession of regulation, Tre Demps grabbed a board on the other end and had a great look at the basket, but couldn't connect to send the game to overtime. It was all Northwestern in the extra period.
Northwestern's Tre Demps was awarded the Waldo Fisher-Frank McGrath Award, given to the MVP of this rivalry game. He finishes with 18 points on 7-of-20 shooting.