DePaul basketball blown out by Creighton

depaul basketball

DePaul basketball has finished the regular season 0-2 against the No. 13 Creighton Bluejays. The Bluejays crushed the Demons 77-53, on Wednesday night on their home court. When these teams first met in the season, the Bluejays just eked out a win over the Demons, winning 69-62.

Wednesday’s game was much different.

Despite coming off an 88-83 win over St. John’s, the Demons’ second Big East win of the season, the Demons couldn’t find an offensive rhythm to compete with the Bluejays nor could they generate solid enough defense to stop Creighton’s offensive barrage.

“We didn’t have very many possessions where we enjoyed the basketball inside the paint,” DePaul coach Dave Leitao said. “You are not going to match this team 3-point shot for 3-point shot. [It’s] understanding what we were trying to do as a game plan and what we thought would work, and ten not being able to execute it the way we needed to. It gave them confidence, and it kind of took some confidence away from us.”

As expected, DePaul started strong, particularly from beyond the arc. The Blue Demons drained three consecutive 3-pointers from senior guard Charlie Moore, sophomore forward Romeo Weems and senior guard Ray Salnave that added up to an 11-3 lead early in the game. Near the midway point of the first half, DePaul still led Creighton 18-13, but the Bluejays were about to take over.

Creighton kick-started its offensive with a 10-0 run that was briefly put to a stop with a three-point bucket from Weems. In response, the Bluejays went on an 11-0 run, racking up a 34-21 lead and simultaneously putting away the Demons’ hopes of winning.

In the last 10 minutes of the first half, the Blue Demons made only three shots and got outscored 21-7. They went into the break down 34-23.

At the start of the second half, the Bluejays went on another offensive run, piling on an 8-0, bringing the lead to 45-25.

By the midpoint of the second half, Leitao had pulled most of his starters and gave DePaul’s bench some more playing time. The Bluejays did not relent, taking a 30-point lead over the Demons 67-37.

Not one DePaul player finished in double digits on Wednesday night. Moore and Weems came close, each ending the night with nine points. As Wednesday’s player of the game, Moore finished with nine points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals. The Demons were again without one of their leading scorers as junior guard Javon Freeman-Liberty missed his third straight game. Sophomore forward Nick Ongenda also missed the game against the Bluejays as he was sidelined with a right ankle injury.

The Blue Demons have not won a game against Creighton since Jan. 7, 2015 and since, they’ve lost 14 consecutive games.

Wednesday saw one of the worst offensive nights of DePaul’s season. The Demons shot 35.5% from the field, 29.2% from three-point range and 66.7% from the free throw line on three attempts.

This loss drops the Demons to 4-11 overall and 2-11 in the Big East. DePaul will return home to Chicago to face Georgetown on Saturday and Marquette next Tuesday, closing out the regular season. Tipoff against Georgetown is scheduled for noon ET on FS1.

Photo by Eric Henry | The DePaulia