Men’s basketball: Despite Freeman-Liberty’s electric second half, DePaul falls to Seton Hall


Maddy Maes

DePaul senior guard Javon Freeman-Liberty dribbles the ball up during Wednesday’s win over Coppin State at Wintrust Arena.

Free throws and fouls were the ultimate decider when the DePaul men’s basketball team took on Seton Hall on Saturday, and Seton Hall came out on top as the Blue Demons fell 66-64. The Blue Demons are now 12-14 overall and 3-13 in Big East play.

The Blue Demons had a busy week, playing against Providence on Feb. 12, Butler on Tuesday and Creighton on Thursday.

Recent top point-producer sophomore forward David Jones sat out with an ankle injury, which meant that it was senior guard Javon Freeman-Liberty’s time to step up. And Freeman-Liberty did just that, scoring 22 points, with 20 coming in the second half, but it was not enough to stop the Pirates.

Seton Hall got on the board first but the Blue Demons countered with a free throw by senior center Nick Ongenda. The score remained 2-1 for a minute and a half before Seton Hall increased their lead with two free throws.

The Blue Demons struggled to make a shot after their free throw in the first two minutes of the game, going over four minutes before senior guard Courvoisier McCauley scored the team’s next basket four minutes after their first with a free throw.

McCauley then scored a jumper and another free throw to get the Blue Demons within a point of the Pirates seven minutes into the game.

Seton Hall countered with a jumper and the first 3-point shot of the game. The Pirates continued with another 3-point basket, free throw and a dunk to increase their lead to 11.

Meanwhile, the Blue Demons struggled with turnovers early, having five in the first ten minutes of the half, while going give minutes before two free throws by Freeman-Liberty snapped their scoring drought.

Sophomore guard Jalen Terry gave the Blue Demons their second field goal of the game to cut the deficit and make the score 17-9 but Seton Hall answered with a dunk to push the point difference to 10 points.

Graduate student forward Brandon Johnson scored two free throws, but the Pirates scored a layup of their own to ensure that the lead remained at 10.

Terry banked the Blue Demon’s first 3-point shot off the glass to cut down Seton Hall’s lead. Seton Hall countered with a basket of their own but a 3-point basket by Courvoisier cut the Pirates’ lead to six points. Brandon Johnson added to that with two free throws to make the score 23-19.

Seton Hall got their lead right back with a 3-point basket of their own and a jumper to increase the difference to nine points.

Neither team scored a basket in a minute and a half before Johnson scored a jumper late in the half. However, Seton Hall finished the half with a dunk to make the score 30-21.

McCauley finished the first half leading the team with seven points, while Johnson had six and Terry had five.

Terry opened the second half with a jumper, followed by a layup from McCauley, but Seton Hall countered immediately after with a layup and a dunk.

Ongenda scored a dunk of his own and Freeman-Liberty cut the lead more with an over-the-shoulder layup to make the score 34-29. However, that did not last long as a 3-point basket by Seton Hall made DePaul’s deficit eight points.

Freeman-Liberty scored a jumper in response and the Pirates countered with a 3-point basket, but Freeman-Liberty answered right back with a jumper and a free throw as DePaul cut the deficit to six.

Freeman-Liberty’s dominance continued with a layup and a 3-point shot to cut the lead to one point. Seton Hall responded with a 3-point basket of their own, but Johnson scored a 3-point jumper right after to cut the lead to one again.

Free throws by the Pirates extended their lead to three points, but Freeman-Liberty cut it back to two with a free throw of his own. Two free throws by the Pirates extended their lead again, but a 3-point jumper by Freeman Liberty decreased the lead again.

Seton Hall responded with a dunk to make the score 49-46, but two free throws by Johnson cut the Blue Demons’ deficit to one point. However, a 3-pointer by Seton Hall extended their lead to four points, but Johnson scored three more free throws to cut the lead to one again, making him nine-for-nine at the free throw line.

Two free throws by Ongenda gave the Blue Demons their first lead of the game, and a layup by Freeman-Liberty second later made the score 55-52. Freeman-Liberty follows that with two free throws to give him 22 points in the game.

Seton Hall countered with a 3-point jumper to snap DePaul’s 9-0 scoring run and then tied the game at 57 points before a dunk by senior forward Yor Anei gave the Blue Demons the lead again. However, free throws by the Pirates gave Seton Hall the lead again.

Johnson scored a free throw of his own, but missed the next one, snapping his perfect free throw streak. A layup by McCauley then gave the Blue Demons the lead again to make the score 62-61.

In a game that has been determined by free throws, Seton Hall took the lead from the foul line, but McCauley countered with a layup. However, the Pirates scored a layup of their own to take a one-point lead and then added on another free throw to close out the game.

The Blue Demons have a chance to bounce back when they take on Georgetown on Thursday before St. John’s comes into town on Sunday.