DePaul has not defeated Georgetown in a regular season matchup since 1994. On Tuesday, the streak nearly ended, but a Tre’Darius McCallum 3-pointer to send the game to overtime was off the mark as the Hoyas prevailed with a 76-73 victory.
The Hoyas (13-10, 4-6 Big East) started the game off on a 10-0 run. Following a Rodney Pryor 3-pointer with 18:15 left in the first half, DePaul coach Dave Leitao called a timeout. Coming out of the break, the Blue Demons buckled down and went on a run of their own with nine straight points. Both teams exchanged baskets down the stretch but the Blue Demons went into the locker room at the half trailing 35-33.
To start the second half, the Hoyas went on a 5-0 run, led by Pryor’s fantastic homecoming performance. The Evanston native finished with a game-high 26 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field.
“It’s always a blessing being able to return home and play in front of friends and family,” Pryor said.
The Blue Demons (8-14, 1-8) then took a late lead on a Billy Garrett Jr. three-point play with 2:35 remaining. Garrett finished with a team-high 25 points, and broke DePaul’s all-time free throw record in the process notching his 531 career make.
However, L.J. Peak, who had 6 points in the first half, played spoiler by putting the Hoyas on his back during the final minute, leading a 5-0 run that would seal the deal. Peak and Pryor combined for 39 of the teams 76 points.
“We knew between Pryor and L.J. Peak one of the two would have to be neutralized,” Leitao said.
The Blue Demons definitely did a great job limiting Peak early, but great players make big plays.
Peak finished with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field. The Hoyas as a whole shot 55% from the field and scored 17 points off of 13 DePaul turnovers.
DePaul played well enough to win as they dominated inside with 38 points in the paint to the Hoyas 18. They also had 13 offensive rebounds that they turned into 14 second-chance points.
“We just have to make plays down the stretch,” Garrett said. “I felt like we played a very good 35 minutes of basketball.”
The Blue Demons still have a lot to look forward to in the near future and, while it is tough to find a positive in the negative, Leitao knows the growth is there.
“It’s tough to look at positives as a competitor. We are growing as a team and the program is growing,” Leito said. “Sooner than later hopefully games like this that are exciting, go our way.”
Looking ahead for the Blue Demons, they will host Marquette on Saturday.