DePaul 56, Cincinnati 52
ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP)—Drake Diener’s only basket of the night was a big one, a floater with 52 seconds left, and Sam Hoskin made four free throws to seal DePaul’s 56-52 victory over Cincinnati on Wednesday night.
It was DePaul’s first victory in eight games over the Bearcats, and only their second in 25 games against Cincinnati (13-4, 6-1 Conference USA). As the buzzer sounded, Marlon London tossed the ball in the air as the DePaul bench erupted.
The loss snapped an eight-game winning streak for Cincinnati.
Delonte Holland had a monster game for the Blue Demons (11-6, 3-3), matching his career high with 22 points and grabbing a team-high nine rebounds. Hoskin and Quemont Greer finished with 10 each.
Field Williams made six 3-pointers for Cincinnati, finishing with 22 points. But the Bearcats started cold, missing 11 of its first 13 shots, and never really recovered. They shot less than 31 percent, and leading scorer Leonard Stokes finished with nine points, almost eight points below his average.
It’s the first time in 22 games he failed to reach double figures.
Cincinnati was beaten defensively, too. The Blue Demons shot 43 percent, only the seventh team to shoot better than 40 percent against the Bearcats. DePaul had a whopping 22-4 edge in the paint and outrebounded the Bearcats 37-29.
Playing with incredible energy and pesky defense, DePaul took a 40-29 lead on Holland’s floater in the lane with 13:13 to play. But the Bearcats turned up the heat defensively, holding DePaul scoreless for the next four minutes while it went on a 12-0 run.
Taron Barker and Williams made 3s, and Stokes made four straight free throws. Jason Maxiell then scored on a turnaround jumper, putting Cincinnati ahead 41-40 with 9:18 to play, its first lead since about six minutes into the game.
Williams hit a 3-pointer from NBA range to give the Bearcats a 47-46 lead, but Andre Brown made a layup and Holland scored on a follow to give DePaul a 50-47 lead with 3:29 to play.
The Bearcats blew two chances to tie it as Stokes and Maxiell missed the front ends of one-and-ones. But Stokes hit a 3-pointer with 1:59 left that tied the game at 50.
Diener then came up big with his first basket of the night, a floater in the lane with 51.9 seconds left that gave DePaul a 52-50 lead. Williams missed a jumper at the other end, London grabbed the rebound and Hoskin drew a foul.
He made both, but Williams matched him at the other end. Hoskin was then fouled again with 14 seconds left and made both. The Bearcats couldn’t get a good look at the basket, and a huge cheer went up went the buzzer finally sounded.
An 11-2 run gave DePaul a 29-16 lead, its largest of the game, with 2:50 left to play in the first half.