Illinois State snaps DePaul men’s basketball three game win streak with a 69-64 victory

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Trailing by three with 11.4 seconds to go against Illinois State, DePaul men’s basketball head coach Oliver Purnell elected to call a timeout after the Blue Demons got the ball back from a clutch Charles McKinney steal.

The Blue Demons would need to get a clear look for a three-pointer, having shot just 37.5 percent from beyond the arc prior.  Purnell’s play needed to be executed perfectly.

What transpired was the opposite of clear. 

Brandon Young jacked up a contested, deep three-pointer to miss a game tying attempt Sunday and the Blue Demons lost to Illinois State, 69-64.  The Redbirds snapped DePaul’s three game winning streak as the Blue Demons fell to 7-5.

Illinois State’s Daishon Knight led his team with 16 points and came up big in the second half. The junior guard hit a corner three for the Redbirds to regain a 56-55 lead with 7:54 left.

The Redbirds (7-5) shot only 31 percent, but were able to lead for most of the game. Illinois State led 37-34 at the half.

DePaul went on an 11-0 run in the second half, taking a 47-40 lead.  Freshman Billy Garrett Jr. sparked his team’s comeback and had a productive afternoon, scoring a season high 18 points.

Illinois State took a 64-58 lead with four minutes to go. The Blue Demons answered back, thanks to a big three pointer by Durrell McDonald (10 points) and trailed 64-61. Forward Greg Sequele split a pair of free throws to bring the Demons within two.

On the next Redbird possession, Knight got to the foul line and hit one to put his team up 65-62 with 11.4 seconds left.

The Redbirds finished 30 free throws attempts compared to DePaul’s 14.

DePaul’s loss was the team’s first road loss of the season. The Blue Demons’ next game is Friday when they travel to Northwestern.