What a win for the DePaul Blue Demons! There is a lot to unpack for a game that only had 117 points but as you will see, if you have not already, this game was wild.
To start, Louisville came out with a 15-6 lead in the first 7 minutes. DePaul had looked like they had been struggling even more than their game against Loyola. Then, the Blue Demons came back and had a 10-0 run of their own to propel themselves into a one-point lead.
DePaul was able to extend this lead all the way up to 9 before the Cardinals came storming back and took a 3 point leading heading into halftime.
There were two types of Blue Demons in the first half and the worse one came out to start the second half. A 3 point lead to start the half for the Cardinals quickly accumulated all the way up to 9. At this point, for the second time in the game, it looked like DePaul was dead in the water.
Just like they have done this season, the Blue Demons proved everyone wrong. DePaul would slowly work themselves back to a lead. After a layup with 5:11 left in the game to give the Blue Demons a one-point lead, that they would not give up for the rest of the contest.
As the final buzzer rang, coach Stubblefield and the DePaul Blue Demons officially earned their first signature win of the season. The Blue Demons are now 8-1 and head back to Chicago to face off against the 2-6 UIC Flames at the Credit Union 1.
The overwhelming MVP of this game for DePaul was David Jones. The sophomore had a career-high 33 points along with a team and game-high 14 rebounds. Throughout this entire game, whenever the Blue Demons needed a bucket, Jones was there to give them one. In a game that DePaul’s star player Javon Freeman-Liberty had 8 points on 2-15 shooting, Jones was there to pick him and the rest of the Blue Demons up. Besides Jones’s 33 points on a 15-22 shooting effort, DePaul shot 9-44 (20.5%) from the field and 3-20 (15%) from three.
Coach Stubblefield has proved through 9 games that this DePaul team is here to stay. They just went into the KFC Yum! Center and handed Louisville only its 30th loss in 204 games played at the arena. Not only did they beat the Cardinals, but they held them to 55 points. Finally, Coach Stubbs’s preaches about defense rang true.
Another huge impact player for the Blue Demons tonight was Nick Ongenda. The junior was all over the stat book tonight with 8 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 blocks. Ongenda’s 8 blocks tied a DePaul single game-high. The only other two Blue Demons with 8 blocks in a single game were Donovan Kirk and Paul Reed. In the final stretch, the Ontario native had a couple of crucial blocks to hold the Blue Demon lead. Ongenda has established himself as one of the nation’s elite shot blockers and has given DePaul great power in the paint.
This win has drawn national attention for the Blue Demons, and they deserve every bit of it. With their next two games against UIC and Northwestern, DePaul could very well be 10-1 heading home into Big East play. This is one of the most fun teams in the country and will also be one of the most endearing come March. Watch out for the Blue Demons this year.