Creighton spoils Blue Demons’ Christmas with 80-65 rout


Patrick Sloan-Turner

Freshman guard Zion Cruz look on during DePaul’s win over Samford on 11/30. Cruz tallied just three points over 11 minutes of action in the Blue Demons’ loss to Creighton on Christmas day.

OMAHA, Neb. – Christmas day was spoiled for DePaul after dropping their second Big East conference game of the season to Creighton by a score of 80-65. After a slow first half, the Blue Demons fought back in the second, but couldn’t find a way to overcome Bluejays sophomore Trey Alexander’s 32-point afternoon.

“That’s a very good basketball team,” said head coach Tony Stubblefield. “They got Kalkbrenner back and it’s a different element to that team that you have to lock in so much and focus in on him that you have a guy like Trey Alexander go off on a night like tonight, but that’s what good teams do.”

DePaul falls to 6-7 on the season and have now faced their second three-game losing streak on the year.

Creighton outshot DePaul from deep from start to finish and the boxscore proves it. The Bluejays shot 16-of-29 (55.2%) from three, compared to the Blue Demons’ 8-for-27 (29.6%).

Prior to the game, the Blue Demons released the news that graduate student Yor Anei would be making his return after being cleared from his ailing foot injury suffered early in the season. 

Anei’s return to the court didn’t provide much of a spark, as the forward logged 13 scoreless minutes, while securing four rebounds and a steal against the Bluejays.

Senior Jalen Terry returned as well on Sunday after missing the last two games due to a knee injury. Terry played 29 minutes off the bench, scored a team-high 14 points and secured four rebounds and one assist.

DePaul held Creighton’s 7-foot-1 standout center, Ryan Kalkbrenner, to only four points and four rebounds during his 29 minutes of court action. The Blue Jays are 8-3 on the season when Kalkbrenner is in the starting lineup. 

Unfortunately, containing Kalkbrenner wasn’t enough, as Alexander was the Grinch who stole DePaul’s Christmas, as he finished the game scoring 32-points and recording six rebounds, while shooting a remarkable 7-for-12 from deep. 

The Bluejays had four players make at least two three-pointers and three players scored in double-digits in Sunday’s matchup.

The Blue Demons had three players who didn’t play due to injury, including Nick Ongenda (hand), Mo Sall (wrist) and Caleb Murphy (wrist). The South Florida transfer still has yet to play in a game this season and it remains unclear when – or if – he’ll suit up in a Blue Demon uniform.

DePaul (6-7, 0-2) will host Georgetown (5-8, 0-2) on Thursday night for their Big East home opener with tip-off scheduled at Wintrust Arena for 7:00 p.m. CST. The game will be broadcast on FS2.