The DePaul Blue Demons have won a postseason game for the first time since the 2006 NIT.
DePaul hosted the Central Michigan Chippewas Wednesday night at McGrath-Phillips Arena in the opening round of the Roman College Basketball Invitational, and after a shaky start to the evening, DePaul pulled away with a commanding 100-86 win.
The Blue Demons looked lost in the lights for a bit over the first ten minutes, as former Xavier guard Larry Austin Jr. and Shawn Roundtree were getting whatever they wanted on offense for the Chippewas and DePaul was unable to answer on their end, leading to a 21-9 Central Michigan lead nine minutes into the game.
Down by twelve and in danger of letting things get away from them, the Blue Demons needed an answer in a hurry. Enter Max Strus. After a Jaylen Butz dunk, Strus scored eight of DePaul’s next ten points, leading to a long run that saw DePaul take a three point lead. They would trade the lead for the rest of the half before a Flynn Cameron three-pointer put the Blue Demons up by four going into the locker room.
DePaul would never trail again in the game. They got better as the second half went on, leading by at least nine for the final six and a half minutes of the game. Unsurprisingly, Strus led DePaul with 33 points and hit seven threes. Paul Reed recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Eli Cain finished with 20 points, six rebounds, and seven assists.
The Blue Demons advance to the second round where they’ll host Longwood Monday evening.