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DePaul vs. Portland final score: Blue Demons salvage PK80 with win over Vikings

The Blue Demons assured themselves that they’d leave Portland with a victory.

NCAA Basketball: DePaul at Michigan State Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Max Strus went for 21 and Marin Maric put up 19 and 13 rebounds as the DePaul Blue Demons took down the Portland Pilots 82-69 on Sunday afternoon.

DePaul’s PK80 finale went much better than their first and second verses, as the Blue Demons saved their best for last. The Blue Demons shot an impressive 48 percent from 3-point land (12-25 3PT FG) with Strus being the most deft downtown shooter. The DII transfer made six 3-pointers on the afternoon, showing off his impressive range. Tre'Darius McCallum was second on the team in 3-pointers, making three, while Maric knocked down two of his own.

The win pushes DePaul up to 2-4 on the young season. Portland, meanwhile, falls to 2-4.


WHAT WE LEARNED

Max Strus is capable, after all

The DII transfer was going through it in his first few games on the D1 level. He showed flashes in the loss against the Michigan State Spartans, especially in getting to the line and making it count. But this was, by far, his most complete effort of the season. The game against Delaware State is up there, too, but given the situation, going 6-11 from downtown and getting four rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal in 35 minutes of action is pretty dang good. Now it’s just about piecing it together.

Winnable games like this await

While the way they got there wasn’t ideal, 1-2 was a realistic scenario for DePaul in the PK80. Opportunities lie ahead for them to reel their way back to .500. They have the Youngstown State Penguins and Central Connecticut Blue Devils next up at home before a road game against the UIC Flames. Before they welcome the Northwestern Wildcats to Wintrust Arena, a date against the winless Alabama A&M Bulldogs lies ahead, as well.

They certainly have an opportunity to be 5-5 (or 6-4) before the Northwestern game. Whether they do it? Well, we’ll see.