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A Tale of Two Halves: Saint Louis Rallies To Stop DePaul



Box Score

ROSEMONT, Ill. -- DePaul had its five-game winning streak snapped as Saint Louis rallied to post a 69-62 victory on Saturday at the Allstate Arena.

 

DePaul fell to 15-7 overall and 8-4 in Conference USA while the Billikens improved to 14-9 and 7-5.

 

The first half belonged to the Blue Demons as the led the entire time and stretched the advantage to as much as 15 at 32-17 with 2:02 remaining in the period. DePaul took a 13-point (32-19) lead into intermission.

 

The second half was all Saint Louis. The Billikens scored 50 points and shot .630 (17-27) from the floor - .889 (8-9) from three-point range. Reggie Bryant scored 18 of his game-high 25 points in the second half as the Billikens stormed back and took the lead at 51-48 with 4:55 left on a Josh Fisher three-point field goal. Saint Louis would not surrender the lead and cruised home for the victory from there.

 

DePaul was led by Drake Diener’s 15 points while Andre Brown had 12 points and 13 rebounds. Quemont Greer added 12 points and nine boards and Sammy Mejia dished out five assists with his 10 points.

 

Things do not get any easier for DePaul as the Blue Demons travel to 10th-ranked Louisville on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. (CST). The contest will be televised in Chicago by CLTV.

 

Notes:

Before the game DePaul announced that freshman guard Tyler Smith will sit out indefinitely for violation of team academic policy… Saint Louis has won five of its last seven trips to the Allstate Arena… Andre Brown had his ninth double-double of the season and the 26th of his career, tops among active C-USA players.

 

Quotes:

Head Coach Dave Leitao

“Obviously I am disappointed in our effort especially in the second half when we laid down and stopped guarding people.  We played ten times worst in the second half, we gave them confidence with open shots, and we got stagnant.  Many reasons could have caused that turn around, and I just don’t know mentally if we approached the second half like a good team is supposed to.”

 

“We talked about it the last three days about the last time we played them.  We knew they gave us one and they wanted to come in and get it back.  I wanted to believe that my guys believed in what I was telling them, but I do not know if they did.”

 

“We may have looked at the scoreboard (and saw the big lead), and stopped playing at both ends of the floor.”

 

“They spread us out and the style change with the dribble penetration hurt us.  We didn’t think it was going to cost us, but they were in the paint with the ball and they kicked the ball out and hit the big shots.”

 

“All year long we tried to control our energy level by resting our guys or by working them harder.  We had a bumpy week in preparation this week and I couldn’t tell you the exact cause of this.”

 

“We were getting good shots but we could have had better shots.  We could have had more shots underneath the basket; however thought we could take the jump shots to give us the win.”

 

Drake Diener

“Surprised isn’t want I am feeling right now.  We are really disappointed, because we put ourselves in a situation to make a run at the end and this is a major set back for us.  I thought we would realize that, but we didn’t show that really well.”

 

“The thing was we giving up a lot of penetration and allowed them to get in the paint.  They were knocking down shots from the outside and that killed us.  It was obviously one of the major differences.”

 

“Looking forward to the NCAA Tournament wasn’t the reason for this setback, and for our team it would have given us more motivation to take care of business.  We didn’t have very well practices this week, and it came back to bite us.”

 

“We are trying to accomplish our goals and one of them is to get in the NCAA Tournament.  We need to get the main wins and that makes our next game important for us.  Playing at Louisville is always a big game, and we cannot dwell on this game today.  It is a major set back and hopefully we can come out of there with a win.”

 

Andre Brown

“They hit big shots which gave us a big lead, but we relaxed a little bit and that was the reason for giving up the lead.”

 

“I think you look at some of their guys and some of them hit key shots that they don’t usually do.  We took them for granted and we didn’t get out on their shooters.”

 

“Every game is going to be a test and I don’t think it is going to hurt us, what it should do is motivate us.  We will learn from this and get back on track.”