For the third time this season, the DePaul Blue Demons (2-4) arrived to an away a game that would eventually end up cancelled or postponed. After Wednesday’s postponement of the Georgetown game, the Blue Demons were without a game until January 19. To avoid going over a week without playing, DePaul was able to schedule a last second game against the Valparaiso Crusaders. Saturday afternoon, the Blue Demon took down the Crusaders with ease in a 77-58 win at Wintrus Arena, which ended their 4-game losing streak.
This non-conference game not only offered the Blue Demons a chance to get a game in but also for Javon Freeman-Liberty play against his former team. Freeman-Liberty played two season for Valparaiso and averaged 15.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 2.0 steals per game over 66 games.
For the most part, DePaul had this game in the bag from tip-off. They began the game making six of their first eight shots and opening up a 19-7 lead which included going 4-for-4 from three point range and a 13-2 run. The Blue Demons did go cold and had 5:35 scoring drought but Valparaiso did not capitalize. The Blue Demons proceeded by going on another run (13-1) of their own and opened the game up even more in their
Right before the first half concluded, the Crusaders went on an 8-2 run to close the gap. DePaul held a 41-26 lead at the half.
The second half began slower than the first but the Blue Demons picked things up. They went on a 20-1 stretch that lasted over six and a half minutes. Simultaneously, the Crusaders couldn’t hit a single field goal. At this point, the game was all but put away for good. DePaul largest lead of the day was a 30-point lead when the score read 75-45. DePaul was victorious in a 77-58 defeat of Valparaiso. DePaul has now won the last eight matchups.
Three Blue Demons were in double figures. Romeo Weems had his second game with 20 or more points. Charlie Moore has 14 points and five assists. Pauly Paulicap had 11 points and nine rebounds. Darious Hall grabbed 10 rebounds.
Just one Crusader was in double figures. Eron Gordon scored 12 points and had 7 rebounds, an assist, and 4 turnovers in 25 minutes for Valpo.
DePaul finished the afternoon shooting 43.5 percent from the field and 40.9 from beyond the arc. Their aggressive underneath the basket helped them out-rebounded their opponent but it also helped create more shot opportunities. The Blue Demons had 13 offensive rebounds and also had 34 points in the paint and 10 second chance points.
Valparaiso struggles for most of the game and could not keep up with DePaul. The Crusaders shot 34 percent from the field and just 20 percent on 15-attempted threes. They also were out-rebounded 43-32 and had 4 less points off turnovers than the Blue Demons.
Player of the Game: Romeo Weems
Coming into the season, Romeo Weems was projected to make large leaps as a sophomore but hasn’t seen it on a consistent basis yet. Saturday, Weems played very well, on both ends too.
In the first half, he started 6-of-6 and finished the half 6-of-8 with 15 points. He was the Blue Demons’ leading scorer with 20 points. He shot 8-of-14 from the field, 3-of-6 from three, and 1-of-1 from the free-throw line. He also had 6 rebounds (2 offensive), an assist, a block, a steal, and a turnover in 28 minutes.
DePaul will play next on Tuesday, January 19 against Butler. The game tip-off at 6 p.m. at Wintrust Arena. It can be viewed on CBS Sports Network or over on 670 The Score.