CHICAGO — Little Rock held DePaul to 0.72 points per possession Saturday to leave Chicago with a 66-44 win and an 8-0 record.
Here’s a breakdown of what we saw and learned in the ugly loss for DePaul:
—Little Rock’s pressure caused tons of trouble for DePaul. The Blue Demons turned the ball over in 32.8 percent of their possessions, and the Trojans turned those miscues into 27 points.
Most of the errors were forced by Little Rock’s constant defensive pressure, but DePaul had a few unforced blunders as well. Most notably, forward Tommy Hamilton threw a pass into the scorer’s table during the first half, and during the second period wing Myke Henry tossed a skip pass in between guards Aaron Simpson and Eli Cain, who both expected the other one to catch it.
—DePaul could not take advantage of its free-throw situation in the first half. The Blue Demons got into the bonus just past the midway point of the first half. They shot only four free throws (and missed the front ends of two one-and-ones) in the final 9:31.
This was particularly important against a team like Little Rock because the Trojans are one of the top defensive teams in the nation. Drawing contact and getting to the line could have a gone a long way as the Blue Demons struggled from the field all night.
DePaul wound up not shooting a free throw until nearly 13 minutes into the second half. The team finished 9-of-16 at the charity stripe.
Part of the struggles getting to the foul line was certainly Little Rock’s elite defense, but DePaul played a lot of east-to-west offense rather than attacking the basket.
—With Rashaun Stimage out, Peter Ryckbosch provided some crucial bench production in the first half. Stimage, a 6-foot-8 forward who specializes in defense, is out indefinitely after getting concussed this week in practice.
Ryckbosh, a 6-foot-10 junior who doesn’t play often, saw the floor for six minutes in the first half and grabbed four rebounds. He finished with six boards and an assist.