DePaul basketball: Season-high fifth consecutive loss

depaul basketball

DePaul basketball extended its longest losing streak of the season on Wednesday, losing another game to Seton Hall, 60-52. Playing without their two top scorers, Charlie Moore who was out for his second consecutive game with a left knee injury, and Javon Freeman-Liberty, who was out on concussion protocol after taking a particularly hard foul and hitting his head on the floor in last Saturday’s loss to Providence, the Blue Demons again struggled on offense, but were able to stay in the game due to a solid defensive performance.

“Not having both Charlie and Javon meant a lot because it means our rotations are different, guys are playing longer minutes. Not to mention, they’ve been throughout the season, our two leading scorers, so that was a challenge,” DePaul coach Dave Leitao said. “I thought both Kobe [Elvis] and Ray [Salnave] in starting roles, and the rest of the guys filled in admirably.”

The Pirates had offensive struggles of their own, going the first 10 minutes of the game without making a shot. Using Seton Hall’s scoring drought to their advantage, the Demons were able to open up a 13-5 lead early in the game.

The two teams played a close matchup for much of the game. After DePaul took its largest lead of the game at 21-14, the Pirates answered right back with eight straight points to take the lead at 22-21. At the half, the Blue Demons had taken the lead back, going into the break leading the Pirates, 31-27.

Midway through the second half, an upset seemed more and more possible as the Demons went on a 7-0 run, taking a 46-42 lead with roughly 12 minutes left to play. But again, the Pirates had a quick answer, going on a 9-0 run of their own to take a 51-46 lead.

In the final 10 minutes of the game, DePaul scored only six more points - all of them coming from Wednesday’s player of the game, senior forward Pauly Paulicap. Paulicap notched his second double-double of the season, ending the game with 15 points and 10 rebounds in 25 minutes. Paulicap’s 15 points led all Blue Demons, and he was one of two players to finish the game in double figures, the other being guard Kobe Elvis, who finished the night with 13 points, a career and season high for the freshman.

Late in the game, the Demons could not score and Seton Hall closed out the night on a 7-0 run while holding DePaul off the scoreboard for the last four minutes of play. In those last minutes, the Blue Demons missed their last five shots and had three turnovers.

“We’ve got to execute better particularly when you get [to the] later stages of the game,” Leitao said. “…We obviously didn’t execute the way we needed to.”

With this fifth consecutive loss, DePaul now has a 3-10 overall record and a 1-10 record in the Big East, with its only conference win against Marquette. The Blue Demons will finish up their three-game road trip on Saturday when they face St. John’s in Queens, New York. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1.

Photo by Alexa Sandler | The DePaulia