DePaul was overwhelmed in the paint in their Paradise Jam opener as they fell 76-61 to the South Carolina Gamecocks.
Junior combo guard Darrick Wood led the Blue Demons (1-2) with 14 points, a career high. South Carolina’s (3-0) Mindaugus Kacinas led the game with 23 points.
Sloppy mistakes plagued DePaul in the first half as they turned the ball over nine times in the first half. The Gamecocks did not take advantage with only five points off the turnovers, but it did stall the offense.
Wood led the Blue Demons with seven points while the players who have led DePaul in scoring the past two games struggled. Junior point guard Billy Garrett Jr. scored five, senior forward Myke Henry has four and senior Tommy Hamilton was held to zero.
The Blue Demons were struggling from beyond the arc, shooting 2-9 for 22 percent, which was in line with their 39 percent shooting percentage. They went into the break down 36-27.
The second half was more of the same for DePaul as they were poor shooting the ball and were not able to gain an advantage on rebounding, where South Carolina’s 16 offensive rebounds gave them more opportunities to build up their lead.
The Blue Demons did manage to rally midway through the half and turned a 13-point deficit into only being down by five but that did not last for long as DePaul was soon down by double digits again.
With the loss, DePaul moves into the consolation bracket where they will face Florida State Saturday at 7:30 p.m.