The opponent did not matter. Even against one of the worst teams in Division I, DePaul had an impressive showing in a 109-61 blowout victory.
After surrendering the game’s first basket, DePaul (6-4) reeled off 22 straight points to effectively put the game away in the first eight minutes. Chicago State (3-8) never got closer than 16 points the rest of the way, and the Blue Demons spent a good chunk of the game with a lead of 40 points or more.
Sophomore guard Eli Cain torched the Cougars for 31 points on 11-of-15 shooting while junior forward Tre’Darius McCallum recorded his second double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
The Blue Demons shot a 78.1 effective field goal percentage while holding the Cougars to 40.3%.
After Wednesday’s rough loss to UIC, DePaul was at its lowest point of the season and possibly in program history. A win against Chicago State does not mean this DePaul team is any better than it was after that game. While a 48-point margin of victory is excessive, DePaul should be able to blow out Chicago State every year on paper and on the court.
However, coach Dave Leitao got his players to respond with fire, and if DePaul does go on to have an adequate season, that response shown in Saturday’s game could prove to be the turning point.
The Blue Demons will be tested next week. After another cupcake home game against Southeast Missouri State on Monday, DePaul heads to Las Vegas where it will face Wyoming and then either No. 24 USC, which is undefeated, or Missouri State, which lost to the Demons at the buzzer in November.