Given their troubles near the end of the regular season, the DePaul Blue Demons have turned a nice positive on things given their run in the College Basketball Invitational. Again hosting a game in the tournament, the Blue Demons got out to a huge lead against the Longwood Lancers. Max Strus was hitting his shots, Paul Reed was controlling the boards, and DePaul was rolling. But things quickly got shaky as the lead evaporated in front of the home crowd. Longwood tied the game late in the second half and it looked like we could have an upset on our hands. But clutch shots by Strus and backup guard Lyrik Shreiner helped the Blue Demons pulled away. When the final buzzer sounded it was a 97-89 victory as DePaul advances to the semi-finals of the College Basketball Invitational. To makes things better, they are hosting this game again at home.
Their opponents in the semi-finals will be the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers from the Sun Belt conference. It was an ok season for Cliff Ellis and his team, going 15-15 in the regular season. They quickly exited their conference tournament, losing by 30 to Louisiana-Monre. With two losses to end the year, it looked like a bad ending for the Chanticleers. However they too have picked things up in their CBI run. They first beat Howard 81-72 thanks to 50 points in the second half and Tyrell Gumbs-Frater dropped 22 points. Then the big upset came when they beat West Virginia in Morgantown as they controlled the game the entire way. Again the second half was a bright spot with Coastal scoring 59 points in that time frame.
The winner of this game will face the victor of the other semi-final between South Florida and Loyola Marymount.
How to watch, listen, and stream
Game Time: 8 PM ET
Radio: WRNN 99.5 (Coastal Carolina) or this link for an online audio feed
Stream: BEDN/Fox Sports Go
Odds: DePaul opens this game as a 7 point favorite (via Oddsshark.com)
Record ATS: DePaul (15-16-1) || Coastal Carolina (17-13-1)
O/U: The over/under opened at 160 but it’s since moved up to 163 (via Oddsshark.com)
Last Time They Met
Just like their game against Longwood, this will be the first time DePaul has ever played Coastal Carolina.
What to Watch For
Zach Cuthberson due for a breakout game in the CBI?
The Chanticleers may have only 3 guys who average double figures but they still have some decent offensive players. Devante Jones dropped 32 points against WVU while dropping 7 assists and we talked about the impact Gumbs-Frater had against Brown. Cuthberson did a solid job in both games, scoring 18 and 15 respectively. He hasn’t had a break out game just yet in the tournament and maybe this is the one where he goes off for Coastal.
More minutes for Shreiner?
This was one of the bigger surprises was watching Shreiner hit some big shots for DePaul late down the stretch. He got some minutes and took advantage of his opportunities, giving the Blue Demons a spark they didn’t know they had. Let’s see how many minutes he can get against Costal Carolina and give another solid performance off the bench.