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DePaul vs. Chicago State 2016 final score: Blue Demons blow Cougars out 109-61 thanks to career day from Cain

Eli Cain had another career night as DePaul blew out fellow in-state school Chicago State.

NCAA Basketball: Hoophall Miami Invitational-DePaul at Temple Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The DePaul Blue Demons bounced back with a dominant 109-61 win over the Chicago State Cougars.

Unlike their previous game, DePaul started out in much better fashion than their opponent. The Blue Demons quickly established a stronghold on the game with much of it due to the play of Eli Cain. Cain led the way with a career-high 31 points hitting seven 3-pointers in the process. He started out hot from three, hitting his first three attempts, helping his team out to a 20-2 lead with only seven minutes gone.

DePaul extended the lead to as big as 38 in the first half and looked very dominant against the Cougars. Chicago State had a tough time scoring the ball early on, starting off 2-for-10 from the field and going through numerous scoring droughts in the opening half.

Along with Cain, Tre’Darius McCallum also showed up offensively in the first half. He was dominant on the glass, grabbing nine rebounds and wreaked havoc on the Chicago State bigs. In DePaul’s desperate need for a third scorer, McCallum’s performance today showed that he could be a candidate for that role. With his long reach and ability to grab boards and finish near the rim, he could be the key the Blue Demons need. Al Eichelberger also played some very quality minutes at the center position for DePaul, giving Joe Hanel some much needed rest.

The Blue Demons held a 60-22 halftime lead and were on top in every facet of the game. DePaul was hot from the field as a team overall, shooting 67.7 percent from the field. The same couldn’t be said for Chicago State, who shot a poor 26.7 percent, and were even worse from three, making just two of their eleven attempts. Fred Sims Jr., the Cougars’ leading scorer, led the way with 19 points. Clemmye Owens V pitched in five points in that half and was only the player along with Sims Jr. to hit more than two field goals in the first half.

With a lead as large as 40 at one point, the second half dragged along for both teams. Despite having the big lead, Dave Leitao kept most his regulars out on the court till around seven minutes left in the game, and by the time the clock hit triple zeroes, DePaul moved to 6-4 on the season. They will play Southeast Missouri State on Monday night at Allstate Arena.

3 things we learned

Offensive explosion from DePaul

This was the first time we have seen the Blue Demons get past the 90 point mark let alone 100 but to their credit, they shot very well from the field. By game’s end, DePaul shot 66.7 percent from the field and made 13 3-pointers in the game. Apart from Cain scoring 31, Tre’Darius McCallum pitched in 18 points and 2 rebounds along with being 3-of-3 from deep. Brandon Cyrus added 13 points to make it three Blue Demons in double figures, with Billy Garrett Jr. adding nine points of his own with six boards.

Controlling the boards

DePaul also controlled the battle on the glass 44-25 and used it to get in transition quicker and it helped them overall offensively. McCallum led the way for DePaul with 12 boards and Cyrus pitched in with six. It was a solid effort considering that Chicago State had controlled the glass against their previous opponents so beating a decent rebounding team was another pat on the back for the Blue Demons.

Quick turnaround again

Like the UIC game, DePaul only has a couple of days before it faces their next opponent. Blue Demon fans will be hoping that they come out with the same energy like they did tonight.