DePaul’s hot stretch and lead in the Big East standings seems years away now.
The Blue Demons’ season ended Wednesday with a 78-63 loss to the Creighton Bluejays in the first round of the Big East Tournament, the team’s eighth straight loss and 11th in the final 12 games.
DePaul (12-20, 6-12 Big East) played a strong first half. After falling behind by six points in the opening minutes, the Blue Demons tied the Bluejays 33-33 in the final minute of the period.
A buzzer-beater by Geoffrey Groselle gave Creighton (14-18, 4-14) a 35-33 advantage at the break.
DePaul stayed tied with Creighton into the final 13 minutes but then allowed a 13-2 run to the Bluejays over a 4:48 span. Creighton’s lead reached as many as 16 points in the final minutes.
Guard James Milliken led Creighton with 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting while Devin Brooks added 12 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists off the bench.
Four DePaul players reached double figures in scoring, led by senior wing Jamee Crockett with 15 points. Sophomore guard Billy Garrett Jr. had 10 points and 8 assists.
With the season finished, DePaul fans now turn their attention to head coach Oliver Purnell. Purnell just wrapped up his fifth year with the program and holds a 54-105 overall record with at least 19 losses each season.
Purnell appeared to have this team turning a corner in January with a 5-2 start to Big East play. But the losing streak to end the season showed a reversion.