Wednesday evening, DePaul Blue Demons (1-2) battled in another conference game on the road. After dropping a double overtime game on Sunday to Providence, they had to go up against the UConn Huskies (4-1). This season, the Huskies returned to the BIG EAST conference after seven years and seem to be ready to make their presence known. The Huskies defeated the Blue Demons 82-61 in Storrs, Connecticut for their first Big East win in 2,853 days.
Two things these teams have shared is that they both have dealt with a series of postponements of games because of COVID-19 concerns. In fact, they were going to play each other back on December 23 but had to move the game because of those very reasons.
Well, Wednesday they got the game in and DePaul might be wishing they cancelled it instead. Nothing was going their way. Blue Demons struggled to shoot and defend which quickly added up. UConn’s James Bouknight scored the first basket just 11 second in the game and would not slow down. The Huskies opened the game with a 4-0 lead before the Blue Demons could finally land a shot. Their first points of the game came with 16:49 left in the first half on a Romeo Weems field goal.
For the next four minutes, DePaul kept in the game before UConn would score 12 of the game’s next 15 points. This gave the Huskies a nine point lead.
Under 4 minutes left in the half, DePaul would get as close as seven points. Unfortunately UConn had the hot hand as they took a 41-27 lead into halftime.
At the half, the Blue Demons shot 33.3 percent on 33 shot from the field. They also made 2-of-10 from beyond the arc. Huskies on the other hand shot 51.7 percent on 29 shot and 5-of-8 from three. UConn also held the 23-15 edge in rebounding.
The second DePaul shot better but could never get within single digits of UConn. At one point, the Huskies owned a 26-point lead over the Blue Demons. UConn would go on and walk away with the 82-61 win over DePaul.
Darious Hall led the Blue Demons with 14 points (8 in the first half) and grabbed eight rebound- all of the bench. Nick Ongenda was the only other Blue Demon on double figures scoring. He had 13 points and 8 rebounds.
As a team, the Blue Demons finished the night shooting 38.1 percent on 63 attempts. The also made just 4-of-17 from beyond the arc.
DePaul couldn’t stop UConn’s Tyrese Martin or James Bouknight. Martin scored 22 points with 10 rebounds and Bouknight added another 20. Josh Carlton was the only other Huskie in double-figures with 11 points and nine rebounds off the bench.
UConn out-rebounded DePaul 43-33 and managed to score 21 points off turnovers. DePaul only had nine off turnovers.
DePaul Blue Demons will play next against at St. John’s on Saturday, January 2 at noon ET at Carnesecca Arena. For viewing, tune into FS1 and 670 The Score.