DePaul routs Iowa 93-78 in the Gavitt Tipoff Games

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DePaul routs Iowa 93-78 in the Gavitt Tipoff Games

DePaul junior forward Paul Reet drives to the basket in the first half against Iowa at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Blue Demons won the game 93-78.

DePaul junior forward Paul Reet drives to the basket in the first half against Iowa at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Blue Demons won the game 93-78.

Charlie Neibergall

DePaul junior forward Paul Reet drives to the basket in the first half against Iowa at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Blue Demons won the game 93-78.

Charlie Neibergall

Charlie Neibergall

DePaul junior forward Paul Reet drives to the basket in the first half against Iowa at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Blue Demons won the game 93-78.

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Before the season started, DePaul players were telling the outside world that this season is going to be different for the Blue Demons — with added talent and an increase in depth, the team felt confident going into this season. Four games into the season, those same players have started 4-0 after defeating Iowa 93-78 at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

With head coach Dave Leitao returning to the bench after completing his three-game suspension, the Blue Demons embarked on their first road game of the season by facing the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Gavitt Tipoff Games. A game that DePaul was a nine-point underdog, turned into a rout from the start. 

Before Iowa could even blink on their homecourt, the Blue Demons had jumped out to a 13-0 lead. Junior guard Jalen Coleman-Lands, who scored a combined eight points in three games, knocked down two 3-pointers in the first couple of minutes and set the tone for the rest of the game. 

While the Blue Demons’ offense was clicking on all cylinders to start the game, their defense was just as dominant in the early going. Iowa had trouble setting up their offense in the halfcourt due to DePaul’s pressure on the perimeter, which forced the Hawkeyes to either take tough shots or commit turnovers. In the first half, Iowa committed 11 turnovers which led to 20 DePaul points, and they only shot 34.8 percent from the field. 

The Blue Demons would go into the break up 53-30, their largest lead after the first half of the season. 

But arguably the most impressive part of the Blue Demons’ run in the first half was the fact that junior guard Charlie Moore only played eight minutes in the half due to foul trouble. In the first three games of the season, DePaul relied on Moore’s leadership and experience to lead the offense. But against Iowa, with Moore struggling to stay on the court, Leitao got more of a collective effort from his team. 

One player who stepped up during Moore’s absence, was junior guard Devin Gage. Gage, who was a starter last season, came into the game and managed to keep the offense flowing at a high rate with his passing and patience on offense. The Chicago native finished the game with 13 points on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting to go along with four assists and three steals. 

After both coaches had a chance to talk to their teams at halftime, it was the Blue Demons who kept staying aggressive on both offense and defense. Iowa would have their moments where they looked like they might go on a run, but in each of those instances DePaul would answer on the other end with their own run to keep the Hawkeyes at bay.

Junior forward Paul Reed was the player leading those runs, he managed to control the glass on the defensive end and then was able to get any look he wanted on offense. Reed finished the game with 25 points and 12 rebounds, his third double-double of the season. 

The Blue Demons used their depth to their advantage against Iowa, with nine players getting playing time and eight of those players scoring at least five points. DePaul’s hot shooting from the first half continued into the second half, and ended with them shooting 61.4 percent from the field and 55 percent from the 3-point line. 

Coleman-Lands, who led the charge in the first-half with 14 points, finished the game with a season-high 17 points while shooting 4-of-8 from the 3-point line. While only three DePaul players got into double-figures for the night — Reed, Coleman-Lands and Gage — other players like freshman Romeo Weems filled up the stat-sheet in other ways. Weems, who only attempted seven shots in the game, was a dominant force on defense by forcing steals and blocking shots.

The win over Iowa gives DePaul their second straight win in the Gavitt Tipoff Games, and their first road win in the annual series. DePaul will be back in action when they host Cornell on Saturday.