Men’s basketball: DePaul’s defense struggles to contain Marquette, Blue Demons lose 87-76
It was an ugly scene at the Fiserv Forum as DePaul suffered another conference loss to Marquette University 87-76. DePaul remains winless in conference play, extending his losing streak to five games in Big East play.
Sophomore goaltender Jalen Terry scored DePaul’s first of the game with a three-pointer on a screen to give the team a 3-2 lead. Senior guard Javon Freeman Liberty then scores a lay-up on Terry’s lob to cut DePaul’s deficit to one with 16 minutes left in the first half. Graduate forward Brandon Johnson chases the next possession with a back three-point shot to give DePaul a two-point lead, 8-6.
Following an offensive rebound, senior striker Yor Anei scores on a goalkeeper lay-up to extend the lead to 10-6 before the game’s first break. Sophomore forward David Jones later cuts the basket and scores a lay-up to cut the team’s deficit to two.
Marquette makes a quick run before DePaul calls his first timeout of the game. Coming out of timeout, Freeman-Liberty grabs the offensive rebound and scores on the backhand to cut the deficit to six. Freeman-Liberty hits all three points deep from junior guard Philmon Gebrewhit’s dribble to cut the deficit to five.
Anei keeps the game alive with his presence around the paint in the half-court offense, including offensive rebounds that lead to layups. DePaul kept the game close, losing by five points.
Freeman-Liberty fights to keep DePaul in the game, scoring his own foul after breaking Marquette’s pressure all over the court. After cutting Marquette’s lead to five, Freeman-Liberty fouled the next possession which led to two free throws, making their three-point deficit 28-25 with 5:30 left in the game. Gebrewhit scores a three-pointer from the dribble followed by Freeman-Liberty’s transition layup to cut their deficit from 30-31 to one with five minutes left in the half.
Coming out of Marquette’s timeout, Gebrewhit scored a layup after breaking Marquette’s full-court press. DePaul scores on multiple possessions. Graduate forward Javan Johnson led the way scoring on a three-pointer, followed by Brandon Johnson hitting a jump from the post.
Jones then hits a three point shot before DePaul calls time out. Jones scored a lay-up in the half-court out of time out to cut the lead to two. Brandon Johnson then fires the foul before the final buzzer and splits the free throws to trail by one, 44-43.
DePaul shot 45% from the field and 54% from the three-point line. The Blue Demons also topped the rebounding department, grabbing 11 more rebounds (23 total) than Marquette, with 12 of the rebounds being offensive rebounds. Freeman-Liberty led the way with 13 points. Johnson, Jones and Anei all contributed six points apiece.
In the second half, DePaul lost his grip and Marquette began to launch into an offensive push. The Blue Demons started the half with a bucket on Freeman-Liberty’s first possession, giving them a 45-44 lead.
On the next possession, Anei scores a hook shot into the paint to extend the lead to three. Freeman-Liberty hits the three-pointer offscreen to hold DePaul’s lead. However, Marquette went on a 12-2 run to regain the lead and never looked back. .
DePaul fought to stay in the game, but Marquette was too much for the Blue Demons. Marquette got everything they wanted offensively. They injured Depaul in the pick and roll and set up a shooting clinic. The Golden Eagles shot 57% from the field and 46% from the three-point line to end the game. Freeman-Liberty led the Blue Demons with 24 points. Aerie followed with 16 points. Jones had nine points overall.
The Blue Demons will face their next conference rival, Seton Hall, on Thursday, January 13 at 4:00 p.m. CST at Wintrust Arena.