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DePaul demolishes Chicago State 104-70

The Blue Demons improve to 6-0 at home in intra-city matchup

NCAA Basketball: DePaul at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The DePaul Blue Demons (6-2) made slight work of the Chicago State Cougars (3-9), securing a decisive 104-70 victory Wednesday night at Wintrust Arena. This is DePaul’s first time hitting the century mark since Dec. 17, 2016 when they faced......Chicago State! Yes, the Cougars also conceded over 100 the last time these two teams played.

DePaul remains perfect at home, improving to 6-0 on the season. Chicago State’s loss breaks their 3-game winning streak, their longest string of victories since their 3-gamer in March 2013.

CSU tried to compete early on. Cougar guard Delshon Strickland knocked down 3-pointer with 16:22 left in the first half to tie the game at 8. However, Jalen Coleman-Lands responded with his own trey, giving DePaul the lead back with 15:19 remaining. They never looked back.

DePaul went up 49-30 at halftime. They continued to pile on in the second half, stretching the margin to as large as 37 points (97-60 with 4:23 left). A Flynn Cameron layup with 1:04 remaining gave DePaul the 101-65 advantage and secured their first triple-digit night nearly two years to the day of the last one.

The game was punctuated by a rare player-coach altercation. DePaul head coach Dave Leitao and Delshon Strickland got into a heated verbal exchange with 47.5 seconds left in the game. Strickland was inbounding the ball from the sideline and Leitao was standing close by. The sparks flew for a few seconds until Strickland walked back to his bench.

We may never know who started it or what was said, but Strickland received a technical foul and fouled out as a result. Leitao and Chicago State head coach Lance Irvin were ejected from the little game that was left.

DePaul shot an impressive 54.7 percent from the field in the victory, including 39.3 percent from 3-point range (11-of-28). Chicago State managed to keep up from distance, shooting 38.1 percent (8-of-21). However, they struggled inside the arc, only hitting 37.5 percent of their 2-pointers (15-of-40).

The Blue Demons forced 19 turnovers and produced 28 points off of them. They also dominated in the paint 38-26. The offensive rebounding battle was even (DePaul 11, Chicago State 10), but DePaul did a better job of capitalizing, scoring 18 second chance points to CSU’s six.

After two 8-point outings, Max Strus had a big bounce-back game against Chicago State. He dropped a game-high 27 points on 8-of-11 shooting, including 5-of-8 from 3. He also came away with eight rebounds and two assists. Eli Cain added 17 points and 11 assists to the cause. Coleman-Lands had 13 points and Femi Olujobi had 12. Devin Gage added 10 points, six rebounds, and five assists.

Delshon Strickland paced Chicago State with 25 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-8 from distance. So he had a very eventful night. Travon Bell added 14 in the losing effort.

Chicago State falls short in the first game of their five-game road trip. Their next game is Monday night at the Northwestern Wildcats. DePaul will put their home perfection streak to the test again on Friday night. It will be another intra-city matchup, this time against the UIC Flames.