DePaul overcame a bad start to crush the Chicago State Cougars 96-72 in their first game of the season at the Allstate Arena.
Chicago State (3-6) pushed out to a 16-7 start, suffocating the DePaul offense for only seven points allowed in the first five minutes. The Blue Demons quickly found some urgency, going 42-22 to end the half. DePaul was impressive on offense, shooting 54% from the field and knocking down 11-of-20 from long range.
A complete effort from DePaul (4-3) today, led by freshman Eli Cain who scored a career-high 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Billy Garrett added 16 points of his own on 6-of-11 shooting to go with 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Tommy Hamilton was flourishing in a bench role, scoring 13 points - including 8-of-9 from the line - and pulling down 7 boards before earning a Flagrant 2 and an ejection for catching Trayvon Palmer with a nasty inadvertent elbow to the face.
DePaul ratcheted up their defense after the half, holding Chicago State to 27% shooting in the final 20 minutes, and 8-of-28 from 3-point range for the game. The Demons also led in rebounds (44-36), points off turnovers (23-10), points in the paint (36-26) and assists (20-9).