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DePaul drops heartbreaker to Northwestern

The Blue Demons were so close to Chicago bragging rights.

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at DePaul Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a career-high 33 points from Max Strus, the DePaul Blue Demons fell to the Northwestern Wildcats, 62-60, at Wintrust Arena on Saturday afternoon.

The Blue Demons led for a majority of the game, going up by nine at one point in the first half, which makes the loss even harder to swallow. With five seconds left, DePaul had a chance to tie it, but Eli Cain missed a layup as time expired to give the Wildcats their third straight series win.

Back to Strus, he was excellent in what was likely the best game of his college career. His shot selection was smart and consistent, and he carried the water for the DePaul offense, as Cain went 1-10 from the field for just two points. Tre’Darius McCallum had a big day, as well. He hauled in 12 rebounds

DePaul’s biggest problem came at the free throw line. The Blue Demons shot 9-24 from the charity stripe. They lost the game by two points. It doesn’t take a math expert to realize what could have happened had DePaul been even somewhat average from the line.

Wintrust Arena got loud at times, and the atmosphere was one likely not seen at a DePaul game since the Ray Meyer era, which is nice. At some point, though, DePaul needs to execute and not beat themselves.

For Northwestern, Scottie Lindsey had 25 points, including seven threes, as he was particularly hard for DePaul to contain down the stretch.

DePaul’s five-game win streak comes to an end, and the Blue Demons fall to 6-5 with the loss. They’ll welcome Miami (Ohio) to Wintrust Thursday evening for one final nonconference tuneup.