DePaul eliminated from Big East Tournament, finishes season 9-22

Photo: Steven Ryan / Newsday
Photo: Steven Ryan / Newsday
Photo: Steven Ryan / Newsday

DePaul’s first season under coach Dave Leitao concluded Wednesday with a 70-53 loss to Georgetown in the first round of the Big East Tournament in New York.

DePaul (9-22) clung within two possessions late in the first half. The Blue Demons trailed 29-24 with three minutes remaining.

Then Georgetown (15-17) scored the final six points of the period to take a 35-24 lead into halftime.

DePaul scored the first seven points of the second half to keep it close but then netted only two points during a six-minute stretch. Georgetown capitalized and took a 55-37 lead.

“We had a lot of bad possessions or disorganized possessions of what we were trying to do and wanted to do,” Leitao said. “When you play in a tournament situation, both teams are playing for their lives. You pay a price for it, and Georgetown did a really good job of making us pay a price for it.”

Senior guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera led Georgetown with 20 points.

The Hoyas also got a big lift from center Bradley Hayes, who played his first game since Feb. 8. Hayes tallied 10 points and seven rebounds.

DePaul guard Eli Cain, who earned conference All-Freshman Team honors earlier this week, led the Blue Demons with 14 points on 6-of-16 shooting. Although Cain finishes a strong rookie campaign averaging 10.3 points per game, he was disappointed with the result.

“Being 9-22, I’m not a real losing guy, so I feel that I failed personally,” Cain said.

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