DePaul’s shooting goes cold in disappointing 83-72 loss to Creighton


Alexa Sandler/The DePaulia

DePaul senior forward Dee Bekelja holds onto the ball as a Creighton defender looks to grab a steal on Saturday at Wintrust Arena.

DePaul went into the game against Creighton looking for its fifth consecutive win. However, carrying their own winning streak, the Blue Jays had a different idea, pulling off the upset and beating DePaul, 83-72.

The Blue Demons actually won the tip-off but then proceeded to miss back-to-back 3-point attempts. It was a sign of things to come.

During the winning streak, DePaul had a tendency of starting off slow but eventually got into the game to set the tempo. However, they did anything but that this time around.

Creighton came out of the gate with their scoring shoes and got out to a 25-18 lead at the end of the first quarter. It was a lead they would not relinquish.

The first quarter told the story of the game in a nutshell. 

DePaul shot 7-for-19, 36.8 percent, from the field and a woeful 1-for-8, 12.5 percent, from the 3-point line. Compare to Creighton who shot 67 percent from the field and an even better 75 percent from beyond the arc.

The Blue Jays seemed to have everything working for them from the opening whistle. A complete contrast to DePaul who, at times, simply couldn’t buy a basket no matter how good the looks they were getting. It was a credit to Creighton as well who never let the Blue Demons back in the game.

“I think it was a combination of both,” Lexi Held said after the game. “They defended well and we didn’t take care of what we needed to.”

DePaul junior guard Sonya Moore walks off the court disappointed during the Blue Demons’ 83-72 loss to Creighton on Saturday at Wintrust Arena (Alexa Sandler/The DePaulia)

Held finished tied with the lead in points, alongside Sonya Morris with 17. She also had a career-high seven steals.

A Darrione Rogers three at the end of the second quarter gave DePaul some life but it would be short lived.

In the second half, Creighton continued where they left off. Anytime DePaul would go on a bit of a run, the Blue Jays would respond right back to negate DePaul’s run. 

“You’ve got to give a lot of credit to Creighton,” Jorie Allen said. “As coach said, we got in that jump-and-run and every time we made a stop and score it seemed like they went down and made a big play. So you got to give them credit.”

Allen finished the game with 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

The numbers at the end of the game said it all though. Creighton had more rebounds, assists and bench points. Creighton also had more turnovers, 22, compared to DePaul with 11. But the Blue Demons only managed to score four more points than the Blue Jays off turnovers, 16 to 22.

Coach Doug Bruno made no excuses for the loss during his post match press conference.

“The Creighton Blue Jays did a great job today, they were undermanned,” Bruno said. “They did a great job of just kicking our butt and they handed it to us.”

DePaul finished shooting only 29-of-76 from the field whereas Creighton went 29-of-50. The Blue Demons had more shots but the Blue Jays did a better job of converting them. From three, it was the same story. DePaul went 6-of-28 compared to the Blue Jays 8-of-15.

The vaunted DePaul offense struggled to get into a rhythm. Playing a high-tempo offense is what’s gotten DePaul where they are at so far and it’s unlikely they’re going to change even with this result.

“When you allow your team to shoot freely and you have nights where you don’t make shots, like we did tonight, and you don’t defend and you don’t rebound, you’re making for yourself a recipe for disaster,” Bruno said. “And that’s exactly what we did. We didn’t defend, we didn’t rebound. We got killed on the boards. We did not guard well in our traditional defenses.”

The last time Creighton beat a ranked opponent before this game was, oddly enough, also against DePaul.

The loss brings DePaul’s record down to 13-5 and 10-3 in conference play. The Blue Demons will try to bounce back from this defeat when they take on Marquette on Wednesday at Wintrust Arena.