DePaul basketball drops game to Butler

depaul basketball

DePaul basketball is back to its expected losing ways. After snapping a four-game losing streak with a win against non-conference opponent Valparaiso, the Blue Demons resumed Big East play with a loss to the Butler Bulldogs 67-53.

An ice-cold offense in the first half all but sealed this defeat for the Blue Demons. Shooting just 25% on 7-for-28 shots, DePaul netted a season-low 17 points in the first half. At the break, the Demons trailed 35-17 and struggled to stay in the game for the rest of the contest.

Coming off its second win of the season, DePaul was looking to build on the offensive rhythm it found against Valparaiso; Butler proved to be too great a challenge, as the Bulldogs had just taken down No. 8 Creighton in their last game and made easy work of taking down the Demons too.

Throughout the game, the Demons never held a lead, allowing Butler to take advantage of DePaul’s lack of offense to rack up a 28-10 lead early in the game. The Bulldogs held a 25-point lead with roughly 12 minutes left in the game and the Blue Demons tried to make a run.

Freshman guard Kobe Elvis came in after the under-12 minute media timeout and scored eight points, hoping to spark the Demons’ offense. As Tuesday’s player of the game, Elvis scored a team-high 12 points, adding two assists and a steal. He was one of two DePaul players to finish the game in double figures - the other being senior guard Charlie Moore, who ended the contest with 11 points. For Elvis, this was his second game reaching double figures, while for Moore, it was his fourth.

“I just tried to come in and be productive any way I can, whether that’s rebounding a little bit, assisting, getting guys going a little bit or scoring a little bit today,” Elvis said. “It’s [about] coming in, ready to play.”

With less than four minutes left in the game, DePaul went on a short 5-0 scoring run to diminish Butler’s lead to 12 points at 60-48, but this is the closest the Demons would come.

DePaul head coach David Leitao said about his team’s anemic offensive performance: “Part of being mature about taking care of your business is not being dependent upon seeing the ball go in the basket all the time. That’s happened to us on different stretches during the season. We’ve had lows and our offense hasn’t clicked because we don’t see the ball go in the basket enough.”

This was DePaul’s worst offensive showing of the season. The team went 33.3% on 19-for-57 field goal shooting, the worst of the season so far. In another season low, the Blue Demons shot only 16.7% on 4-for-24 shooting from three-point range.

This loss brings the Demons to 2-5 overall on the season and 0-5 in the Big East. This is the second time DePaul has lost its first five conference games in Leitao’s last six seasons.

Still seeking their first Big East win, the Blue Demons will travel to Milwaukee on Saturday, Jan. 23 to take on the Marquette Golden Eagles. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. ET on FS1.

Photo by Alexa Sandler | The DePaulia