ROSEMONT- After their disappointing loss to Lehigh back on Wednesday night, the DePaul Blue Demons were in need of a “pick me up” on Sunday afternoon. And the Demons (3-1) would get exactly that as they defeated Stanford (4-2) 87-72 at the Allstate Arena.
Leading the way for DePaul was junior forward Myke Henry. The Illinois transfer led all scorers with a season-high 29 points. He also added six rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals in 36 minutes of play. The Cardinal defense had no answer for Henry as he scored at will.
He hit jump shots, he scored in the paint, and just about every other conceivable way that you can score in a basketball game. Henry accounted for 12 of DPU‘s 31 total field goals on the day. As a team DePaul shot 54-percent from the floor, 50-percent from three-point land, and defensively limited Stanford to just 48-percent shooting (along with forcing 21 turnovers) despite the fact that all five Cardinal starters scored in double figures.
“We just played hard” said Henry after the game, “(This win) helps our confidence and I think it helps our team chemistry in the long run.”
The team chemistry was definitely here as Henry had some help in Sunday’s win. Senior forward Jamee Crockett (19 points), and sophomore center Tommy Hamilton IV (14) also scored in double figures. Guards Billy Garrett Jr. (sophomore), Durell McDonald (junior), and Aaron Simpson (junior) combined for 25 points, nine rebounds, and seven steals. And Henry understands how important team basketball is.
“We watched film (after the Lehigh game and) saw everywhere we messed up at. We had to fix and we (did) fix it and that’s why we won (Sunday).” Henry said.
But there was no doubt in the mind of Demons head coach Oliver Purnell that Henry was the driving force on Sunday. “Myke Henry once again proves to be a tough cover” said Purnell in his post game press conference. He added, “He’s inside, he’s outside, (and) he can get to the offensive glass…… I’m very pleased with the way our team responded (from) the other night, overall I thought it was a good bounce back game for us.”
Now the question is whether or not DePaul can keep the momentum going. They’ll get back on the court Tuesday evening and welcome the 3-1 Northern Illinois Huskies to Rosemont. NIU is led by a trio of front line players who can take over a game and dominate.
Hamilton, Henry, Crockett and even guys like senior center Forrest Robinson, and senior forward Greg Sequele will have one of their biggest physical tests of the season come Tuesday. Follow me on Twitter @GabeSalgado82