Despite a very poor performance in the first half, the DePaul Blue Demons took care of business Wednesday, opening the season with a 97-72 win over the Coppin State Eagles.
The first 20 minutes had fans a bit concerned that the Blue Demons were going to be the same underperforming team they’ve been in the past, as DePaul took a narrow 44-40 lead into the break after trailing for more than five minutes throughout the first half, against a Coppin State team that lost by 58 to Loyola Chicago just 24 hours before playing DePaul.
DePaul’s first half saw the team turn the ball over nine times and go just 3-15 from beyond the arc. In contrast, Coppin State went 6-12 from deep in the first half.
As is often the case, though, things worked themselves out in the second half. After Coppin State tied the game at 45 with a layup, the Blue Demons went on a 15-6 run to pull out to a 60-51 lead, and never really looked back,
Javon Freeman-Liberty was great for the Blue Demons, finishing with 25 points (21 in the second half), 10 rebounds, and eight assists, while forward David Jones scored 23 points and hauled in 17 rebounds, the most for a DePaul player since Paul Reed had 18 against Buffalo in 2019.
Jesse Zarzeula led Coppin State with 25 points.
DePaul returns to action Saturday when they host Central Michigan.