DePaul 79, Louisville 76 (ot)

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ROSEMONT, ILLINOIS (TICKER) —Louisville’s effort was typified by the final play of regulation.

Sam Hoskin collected 21 points and 14 rebounds and Drake Diener had five of his nine in overtime as DePaul snapped a 13-game losing streak to the 15th-ranked Cardinals with a 79-76 Conference USA victory.

The Blue Demons held a commanding 48-28 advantage on the glass over the Cardinals, who had their lack of rebounding exposed late in regulation. DePaul grabbed 15 offensive rebounds, including three by Hoskin, who grabbed one in the final seconds and was fouled on a follow shot as time expired.

“We played our (butt) off and we played as we hard as we could possibly play but we got dominated on the glass and we didn’t make the right defensive situations at the end of the game,” Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. “(DePaul) played great and outwhooped us on the backboard.”

Pitino exploded on the Louisville bench, but Hoskin sank both pressure free throws to force overtime.

“Any referee that’s worth a salt will tell you that even if it’s the first five seconds or the last five seconds, you make a call if you have to,” DePaul coach Dave Leitao. “We’ve had some close ones that have gone against us this year and I’m glad that we got one that helped us tonight.”

“I really didn’t think too much,” Hoskin said, “I just knew that I would knock them down and then we would go into overtime and we would have to win the game there.”

The Cardinals scored five straight points in overtime to take a 76-74 lead on Erik Brown’s jumper with 1:52 remaining. But Louisville did not score thereafter as DePaul scored the final five points.

Andre Brown made 1-of-2 free throws with 56 seconds to go and Diener buried a 3-pointer after a screen by Hoskin for a 78-76 edge with 19 seconds left.

“Sam set me a screen up top and somehow both of their guys left me wide open at the top,” Diener said. “So I just took my shot and knocked it down. But that’s a shot that I expect to hit.”

Louisville had a chance to tie and went inside, but missed several shots from close range before Diener came up with the ball. Diener made 1-of-2 free throws with 1.3 seconds left, missing the second intentionally as time expired.

Andre Brown collected 14 points and nine rebounds and Delonte Holland added 14 for DePaul (15-11, 7-8 C-USA American), which snapped a three-game losing streak.

“It was our best game of the year and definitely our biggest win of the year,” Leitao said. “We need to use that to our advantage. We’ll see if it carries over in practice the next couple of days before we play on Saturday.”

Freshman Taquan Dean scored 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting after being held scoreless in the first half as Louisville (20-6, 10-5) lost for the fourth time in five games.

Gaines and Brown finished with 15 points apiece for the Cardinals, who shot just 42 percent (28-of-66) from the floor, including 9-of-31 from 3-point range.

The Blue Demons had not defeated the Cardinals since February 25, 1995, going without a win in the first 13 conference games between the teams. They snapped that skid and defeated Pitino for the first time in four tries.

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