That’s been the rallying cry on Twitter this week, after the Blue Demons moved to 8-0 with a win over Minnesota on Black Friday. Despite the public demand for the Blue Demons in the AP Poll, the voters didn’t have them in the top 25, but DePaul managed to nab 18 votes.
The idea was that if the Blue Demons simply kept winning games, they would eventually crack the top 25, and could do a lot with a victory over Texas Tech Wednesday night in Chicago.
Despite Texas Tech not being what they were last season for a litany of reasons, Chris Beard’s bunch still signified DePaul’s toughest test of the year. Would they pull off a victory and move to 9-0 for their first nine-game winning streak in 25 years, or would they fall into the same old DePaul traps and come up short in a big game?
That’s right, the Blue Demons advanced to 9-0 after an ugly 65-60 overtime rock fight against the national runners up.
It was a back and forth game all night, but it will be remembered for the final five minutes. The Red Raiders went up by six with 3:19 to play after former DePaul commit and Chicago native Terrence Shannon hit a three, and given the defensive nature of the game, it felt nearly insurmountable. DePaul clamped down defensively and chipped into the lead, but were still down four with 38 seconds to go. Jaylen Butz got a quick dunk, and it looked like the Demons had Tech trapped on the inbounds pass, but Chris Beard called a timeout right before the steal. DePaul couldn’t get another trap and had to foul, and sent Davide Moretti to the line. Moretti had made his previous 23 attempted free throws this season, and it seemed like things would slip away for DePaul. He drained the first, but the second was off the mark.
Jaylen Butz grabbed the rebound, and instead of calling timeout, Dave Leitao chose to let things play out in transition. Chris Beard chose not to foul up three.
Jalen Coleman-Lands chose to tie the game
The Blue Demons forced a stop on the other end to send the game to overtime, where they looked tired for the first three minutes, not scoring as Texas Tech went up 57-53. Coleman-Lands got the Blue Demons on the board in OT finally, hitting another three. Then, Romeo Weems recorded his only two points of the night on a dunk to put DePaul ahead. Shannon answered with a three again, but Coleman-Lands came down and hit what was ultimately the game-winning three, putting DePaul up 61-60 with 55 seconds to go. They would add four free throws down the stretch.
Perhaps the most amazing part of the big win was the fact that Charlie Moore and Romeo Weems combined for just six points. It was Paul Reed, Jaylen Butz, and Jalen Coleman-Lands that kept DePaul’s offense afloat for most of the night. The three players combined for 53 of DePaul’s 65 points.
The Blue Demons are 9-0 and will return to action Sunday against Buffalo.