Blue Demons Fall in Home Finale
Feb. 28, 2015
ROSEMONT, Ill. - Everything seemed to unravel for DePaul in the middle of the second half on Saturday.
Leading No. 23 Butler by three points, the Blue Demons saw the visiting team go on a 24-2 run in DePaul's 67-53 BIG EAST Conference loss at Allstate Arena before a crowd of nearly 9,000. It was the Blue Demons' sixth loss in a row.
"We weren't executing our offense during that time," said senior Jamee Crockett who led the Blue Demons with 20 points. "People had their own agendas and we weren't fighting out there. When you do that against a ranked team, they are going to take advantage of that.
"Guys were going one-on-one and were being overaggressive. This was my last home game and I was trying to get the win."
Trailing by five at halftime, DePaul (12-18, 6-11 BIG EAST) opened the second half with an 11-1 run as Myke Henry (nine points, four rebounds, two steals) and Crockett each hit a pair of baskets and Durrell McDonald connected from beyond the arc. It was the best offensive burst by the Blue Demons to that point in securing a 35-30 lead.
The run was extended to 14-3 as DePaul led 38-32. Four consecutive Butler free throws narrowed the advantage to two. Rashaun Stimage hit three free throws but Kellen Dunham (24 points) scored on a jumper and three-pointer to tie the game at 41-41 with less than 12 minutes left in the second half.
That was the beginning of the end for DePaul as the mini-burst evolved into an 24-2 Bulldog run for a 62-43 Butler lead with six minutes to go. During that stretch, the Blue Demons had six turnovers and five missed shots.
"The missed shots and turnovers deflated our defense," said DePaul coach Oliver Purnell. "Dunham is a nightmare to guard, and we also put them on the free throw line (8-for-9 in that run). They got the momentum and that was pretty much it.
"We stopped rebounding again. Getting outrebounded 36-19---that really is the biggest thing. We've got to find a way to rebound the ball so it doesn't put us in such a big deficit on the boards."
Down by 10 in the first half, Crocket buried a three-pointer that set a new team record for threes in a season. It gave the Blue Demons 232, eclipsing the 231 set by the 2007-08 team. DePaul went 7-for-18 from distance and has 238 three-pointers on the season.
Butler (21-8, 11-5) was having success early working in the paint, scoring 10 of its first 16 points inside including three lob dunks by Kameron Woods.
The Bulldogs build a nine-point lead when Billy Garrett Jr. swished a three to make it 20-14 with more than seven minutes until halftime. Dunham's back-to-back baskets brought the deficit to back 10.
Darrick Wood buried a long three and Henry followed up with an offensive rebound layup to bring the Blue Demons within 24-19 at the final media timeout of the first half.
Henry hit a three and Stimage scored down low to culminate a 10-0 DePaul run. Dunham answered back with a jumper and three free throws as the Blue Demons trailed 29-24 at halftime.
Butler owned a 22-11 rebounding advantage after the first 20 minutes and had scored 18 of its points in the paint.
"We've got to play with more heart," Crockett said. "After our game against Marquette, we still have the BIG EAST tournament. We'd like to do some damage at the tournament."
Next up for the Blue Demons is their final game of the regular season next Saturday as they travel to Milwaukee to face Marquette in a 1 p.m. BIG EAST showdown televised on FOX Sports 2.
Postgame Notes: This was the 10th meeting between the programs all-time... DePaul holds a 6-4 advantage and has dropped the last three matchups... DePaul's seven three-pointers push the team season total to 238 - a new program record... the Blue Demons have hit at least one three-pointer in 674 straight games... DePaul has hit five-plus three's in 29-of-30 games this season... Jamee Crockett reached double figures for the 47th time in his career and 20th time this season... Crockett tied Joe Tulley (1999-03) for 11th on DePaul's all-time made three's list... he also passed Quentin Richardson for 12th... Richardson was inducted into the DePaul Athletics Hall of Fame on Saturday... the game was No. 499 for DePaul at Allstate Arena... the Blue Demons wrapped up their 35th season in Rosemont with an 8-7 record in Rosemont this season... DePaul moves to 0-3 on the year when having only one player score in double figures.
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