DePaul gets crushed by Creighton 93-64 for seventh straight Big East loss


Alexa Sandler | The DePaulia

Charlie Moore and Jalen Coleman-Lands walk back towards the bench after their 67-59 loss to Xavier on Tuesday at Wintrust Arena.

DePaul’s season has been in free fall since the start of Big East play, with the Blue Demons entering Saturday’s game against No. 23 Creighton sitting at 1-10 in the conference and riding a six-game losing streak. Even with a week to prepare for their matchup against the Bluejays, the Blue Demons were simply outmatched and suffered a humiliating 93-64 loss at the Chi Health Center. 

DePaul’s 2019-2020 conference season has featured close and heartbreaking losses, but Saturday’s game went a different way for Dave Leitao’s team. The Blue Demons were never really in the game against the Bluejays, and their lack of energy from the tip reflected in the final result. 

DePaul would never hold a lead in the game and was only within a couple of points at the start of the game. After Creighton jumped out to an early 10-5 lead, the Blue Demons responded with a quick 5-0 run behind a 3-pointer from freshman Romeo Weems and a layup from DJ Williams. But the Blue Demons failed to make that run into anything meaningful because Creighton was the team who took the game by the scruff of the neck.

With the game tied at 10 apiece after six minutes of action, the Bluejays expoloded for 12 straight points to bust open a 22-10 advantage. Creighton would keep the pressure on DePaul by knocking down 3-pointers and forcing the visitors into turnovers.

In the first half alone, the Bluejays went 6-of-13 from behind the arc and forced 12 turnovers, which led to 17 points for the home team. Creighton also received a balanced scoring effort in the first 20 minutes, with eight players getting on the score sheet and Ty-Shon Alexander leading the team with 12 points.

DePaul, however, struggled to find any rhythm and groove on the offensive side in the first half, going 12-of-32 (37.5 percent) from the field and 3-of-10 (30 percent) from the 3-point line. Weems was the only bright spot for DePaul in the first half with 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting. The rest of the supporting cast, however, looked disinterested and lethargic against a top-25 opponent, with the other 10 players combining to go 8-of-24 from the field. Junior forward Paul Reed, who entered Saturday’s game averaging 15.6 points and 10.9 rebounds per game, went scoreless in the first half while only playing nine minutes.

With his team failing to build any momentum throughout the first half, Leitao used 11 players in an attempt to find a lineup that could spark a run for his team. Creighton, however, had answers for all of Leitao’s changes and took a 42-28 lead into the break.

After getting outplayed for the first 20 minutes, there was not much more that DePaul could do to play worse in the second half — but the Blue Demons managed to find a way. Creighton opened the second half scoring the first nine points, giving a sucker punch to DePaul’s comeback chances. 

The Bluejays hit eight of their first nine shots in the half, while the Blue Demons missed seven of their first eight shots to go with three turnovers. By the under-12 media timeout, Creighton opened up a 68-35 lead with the Blue Demons failing to find any answers for the Bluejays’ high-powered offense. 

Junio guard Charlie Moore tried his best to keep his team afloat in the second half with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting, but he did not get enough help from the rest of his team. Reed, who did not score in the first half, had three points in only three minutes of action in the second half, while junior forward Jaylen Butz only contributed to two points. 

Creighton kept its foot on the gas pedal for the entire game, going 33-of-57 (57.9 percent) from the field and 13-of-26 (50 percent) from the 3-point line. The Bluejays were led by Alexander’s 24 points, with four other players getting in double figures — Marcus Zegarowski, Mitch Ballock, Shereef Mitchell and Damien Jefferson. 

With Creighton opening up a sizable lead in the second half, DePaul was playing for pride in the final 10 minutes. But even in their attempt to make the final scoreline more respectable, the Blue Demons failed to accomplish that with a 29-point loss. DePaul finished the game with 21 turnovers and going 4-of-11 from the charity stripe. 

Moore finished the game with 20 points, Weems had 12 points and sophomore forward Darious Hall added 11 off the bench. DePaul has now lost 11 straight games against Creighton, and Leitao is 0-10 in his career against the Bluejays. 

DePaul will be back in action on Wednesday when No. 10 Villanova comes into Wintrust Arena for their second meeting of the season.