DePaul hosted the Duquesne Dukes on Tuesday night in their final game of an eight game homestand.
The Blue Demons picked up their seventh win in a bounce back game against the struggling Duquesne Dukes. After losing to Loyola-Chicago on Saturday, DePaul beat down the Dukes by 20 points.
The first half of this game was much closer than you would think if you were to just look at the final score. Throughout the half, the teams traded blows, and neither could separate themselves apart. After leading 14-10 after the U12 media timeout, DePaul gave up a quick 8-0 run to the Dukes. They would soon regain the lead, and enter the half up 36-30. In the first half and the full game, the power source for the Dukes was their starting center Tre Williams. The 6’7” sophomore finished the game as Duquesne’s leading scorer and rebounder with 17 points on 8-12 shooting along with 10 rebounds. Besides Williams, junior Leon Ayers III had a nice scoring night with 13 points, shooting 3-6 from three.
A common theme for the Blue Demons this season has been close 1st halves and blowout 2nd halves. This game was no different. DePaul completely dominated the Dukes in the second half, outscoring them 51-37. One thing that changed this game, was DePaul’s shooting. After shooting 39.1% from the field and 21.7% from three last Saturday, the Blue Demons lit up the gym tonight, shooting 53.0% from the field and 47.6% from three.
To say that senior star Javon Freeman-Liberty has gotten back his mojo would be an understatement. The Chicago native had 26 points, 19 coming in the second half, and nine rebounds. JFL was close to his fifth double double in only eight games. I’m sure that is the last thing on his mind, as he has proved that last game against Loyola was a fluke. Alongside Javon Freeman-Liberty’s great game, was Jalen Terry’s continuous progression. The Oregon transfer has looked more and more comfortable in each of his four games after being cleared by the NCAA. Terry finished the game with 7 points on 3-8 shooting, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. He also was one of two players to have a plus/minus of over 20.
Following the 20 point win, DePaul is now 7-1 and is now tied for 3rd in the Big East. Heading into their first road trip, Coach Stubblefield said that the main focus is to “stay together and get better,” and that they “got to be collective as one unit.” Stop number one will be in Louisville, Kentucky as the Blue Demons face off against the 6-2 Louisville Cardinals at the KFC Yum! Center. This will be the first of a three game road trip for DePaul before they return to Wintrust for Big East play.