Burns leads DePaul to first win at Cincinnati in 16 years, 60-54
CINCINNATI (AP)—Draelon Burns scored 24 points, and DePaul ended a 16-year losing streak at Cincinnati, rallying to a 60-54 victory Thursday night that extended the Bearcats’ late-season slump.
DePaul (11-18, 6-11 Big East) had lost its last 15 games at Cincinnati since a 71-69 victory on Feb. 20, 1992. This one was a breakthrough in several ways. The Blue Demons had lost their last five games overall and nine of their last 10.
For Cincinnati (13-16, 8-9), it was another home-court loss to a struggling team. The Bearcats have dropped four in a row, and were coming off an 81-79 overtime loss to struggling Providence on Sunday.
The Bearcats took a 48-45 lead on John Williamson’s tip-in with 8:29 to play, then managed only one free throw over the next seven minutes while DePaul built a seven-point lead.
Deonta Vaughn’s 3-pointer cut it to 56-54 with 25 seconds left, but Burns and Cliff Clinkscales each made a pair of free throws to clinch it. Dar Tucker added 15 points for the Blue Demons.
Williamson led Cincinnati with 19 points. The forward is one of five seniors honored before the final home game for coming to Cincinnati and stabilizing the program after Bob Huggins’ ouster.
DePaul came out shooting 3s and making them—9-of-15 in the first half, which ended with the Blue Demons ahead 31-28.
Burns got it going, making all four of his attempts from behind the arc during an opening 15-4 run. After Burns made a catch-and-shoot attempt from a few steps behind the arc, Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin called a 30-second timeout and benched point guard Jamual Warren for his slipshod defense.
The message sunk in.
Cincinnati went on an 18-4 run led by Williamson, who had a pair of free throws, a three-point play and a putback. Larry Davis’ 3-pointer from the right win completed the rally and put the Bearcats up for the first time, 22-19.
Burns, who made all eight of his 3-point attempts in a game earlier this season, went 5-of-6 from behind the arc in the first half for 15 points overall. The Bearcats extended their defense beyond the 3-point arc in the second half, and DePaul took the ball inside as the teams went back-and-forth. There were three ties and four lead changes in the half.
Clinkscales’ 3-pointer from the top of the key with the shot clock running down put DePaul ahead to stay 51-48 with 4:28 to play. Burns followed with a 12-foot jumper.