DePaul played their final game of the Blue Demon Classic against the Eastern Michigan Eagles on Sunday in Wintrust Arena.
The Blue Demons have really matured throughout the season so far. Understandably, it has only been six games, but this DePaul team has improved all aspects of their game. After not having a lead of more than 4 points going into the second half of their first 4 games, the Blue Demons have led by 9 and 24 going into the second half of their last two games. On top of this, the Blue Demons allowed a season low points scored (63) and scored a season high 101 points today.
The main takeaway from this game is confidence. DePaul’s star Javon Freeman-Liberty has burst onto the scene in his senior campaign. JFL ended the first half with 20 points on 8-11 shooting including 4-5 from 3, and four rebounds. He would finish the game with 22 points and 6 rebounds, due to the fact that he was not needed much in the second half because of the blowout at hand. The Chicagoan also had a plus minus of +38 in only 24 minutes of action. Freeman-Liberty’s play has shown that he is not only a star for this DePaul team, he he is also a top player in the entire nation.
The supporting cast for DePaul has been equally as impressive. Besides JFL, five other Blue Demons scored double digit points today. Among those was junior Nick Ongenda who scored 16 points on 6-8 shooting. Ongenda has come into his own the past three games, scoring at least 15 points in each. On top of the 16 points the Ontario native scored today he also added 3 blocks. This was the third straight game in which Ongenda had tallied at least 3 blocks in the scorebook.
The only positive aspect of this Eastern Michigan team today was their senior guard Monty Scott. The 6’5” transfer from Portland State was the only Eagle to score double digit points. Scott scored 18 points in this one, shooting 7-15 from the field. This was his fifth straight game putting up at least 10 points. Monty Scott has at leasy given EMU fans something to look forward to as the Eagles enter MAC play in exactly a month.
The Blue Demons have now improved to 6-0 for the second time in three seasons. DePaul has a 6 day break until their next matchup in which they host the 5-2 Loyola Chicago Ramblers in the Red Line Rivalry. Eastern Michigan falls to 2-4 and will be travelling across the country to San Diego as they play the 4-2 UC San Diego Tritons this upcoming Thursday night.