The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

DePaul notches first victory of the season, defeats South Dakota 72-60

Will Robson
DePaul forward Jeremiah Oden drives to the baseline in DePaul’s matchup against South Dakota Wednesday, November 14, at Wintrust Arena.

DePaul secured its first victory of the season with a decisive 72-60 win against South Dakota Tuesday night at Wintrust Arena. Leading the charge was senior Jeremiah Oden, who scored a season-high 16 points, marking his third consecutive game this season with double-digit scoring efforts.

“This is a very resilient group,” head coach Tony Stubblefield said. “Anytime you can hold a team 32 percent from two and 23 percent from three, you’re gonna give yourself a chance to win the game. I thought our guys did a great job of following the scouting report and I thought they came out and fought hard.”

The Blue Demons’ defensive efforts effectively contained a team that boasted one of the nation’s highest three-point percentages (45.8% before the game), holding them to just 4-for-17 (23%) from beyond the arc.

DePaul showcased strong defense on the perimeter and interior, particularly led by freshman Churchill Abass, who contributed four blocks. Oden also played a notable role with two blocks.. 

Abass extended his streak to four blocks in two consecutive games, marking the second-highest single-game performance in the Big East conference.

“Churchill has a lot of potential,” Stubblefield said. “He’s just been in a situation where he is kind of getting acclimated and playing, and I think the more and more that he gets out there, the better he will be.” 

At the night’s end, Abass posted 7 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 8 points, shooting 4-for-8 from the field in a solid performance off the bench. The student section’s energetic cheers provided an additional boost to the game’s atmosphere. 

“I just want to appreciate my teammates and the crowd,” Abass said. “The crowd gave us a lot of energy, so I was feeling good as a rim protector.”

DePaul had a slow offensive start in the early stages of the game but turned things around, heading into halftime with a commanding 36-25 lead, including a 17-5 run to close the half.

Throughout the second half, the Blue Demons remained in control, ensuring the Coyotes never closed the gap to less than seven points. DePaul’s largest lead reached 14 points, and defensively, they held South Dakota to just one successful three-pointer in the second half.

“I think our approach was really good today,” Oden said. “We had a really good warmup, a really good shootaround. We did a good job of staying positive. We didn’t let those two losses compound into more … I felt like we had a great game plan and I think we did a great job of executing and being locked in.”

In the absence of senior guard Jalen Terry, who was sidelined with an ankle injury, the team has depended on senior guard Caleb Murphy. He stepped up in a significant way, scoring 11 of his 13 points in the second half, including 7 of DePaul’s last 12 points.

“We’re asking him to do a lot,” Stubblefield said of Murphy’s stability on offense. “He gets what we’re trying to do offensively, but he’s doing a great job and we’re putting a lot on him without Jalen Terry on the floor right now.”

Terry, a senior guard managing an ankle injury, and redshirt sophomore forward Mac Etienne, dealing with an illness, are close to a return according to Stubblefield. However, he doesn’t anticipate them being available for the Arizona Tip-Off matchups this weekend.

Taking part in the Arizona Tip Off in Glendale, Arizona, from November 17-19, the Blue Demons are set to square off against the South Carolina Gamecocks in its first matchup on Friday. The game is scheduled to tip off at 10:30 p.m. CT, and the broadcast will be available on the CBS Sports Network.

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