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DePaul passes last nonconference test with win over Miami (OH)

The Blue Demons flew by the RedHawks, and they’re ready for Big East play now.

NCAA Basketball: Miami (OH) at DePaul David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Marin Maric and Max Strus scored 20+ points in the DePaul Blue Demons’ final nonconference game of the 2017-18 season. The Blue Demons took the Miami-Ohio RedHawks to task, winning 83-66 Thursday night at Wintrust Arena. DePaul now enters Big East play at 7-5 with the win in Chicago, with a 5-2 record in their new home dwelling.

Maric led all scorers with 22 points in the victory. Strus wasn’t too far behind, as the DII transfer posted 21 points on his own. Eli Cain got it going, posting a 19-point effort. Tre'Darius McCallum was the fourth Blue Demon to finish in double figures, as the senior forward scored 10.

DePaul’s 7-5 record is their best mark through nonconference play since the 2013-14 season. That year, the Blue Demons finished 8-5 before Big East play began.

The Blue Demons’ opponents on the night shot the ball somewhat well, going 45.5 percent on 2-point tries and 39.4 percent on 3-point attempts. The difference, however, was turnovers. The RedHawks committed a ghastly 25 of them to DePaul’s 11. The Blue Demons feasted, scoring 29 points off those 25 turnovers. Safe to say, that was probably the main difference in the ballgame.

Obviously, the attention now turns to conference play. You know the story with DePaul by now. They’ve accumulated just 14 wins against Big East opponents in the last four seasons. We’ve seen signs of growth and signs of disappointment from DePaul in non-con play.

Now, the attention turns to how they fare against their peers. And they were spared no favors. They open with the #1 Villanova Wildcats next week and then travel to Cincinnati to take on the Xavier Musketeers.