DePaul surrendered all of its 14-point halftime lead but recovered in the final three minutes to register a 73-65 victory over Cleveland State on Wednesday night in Cleveland.
Junior forward Paul Reed posted 19 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks to pick up his ninth double-double for DePaul (11-1), which committed 26 turnovers but has four nonconference wins for the first time since 1993-94. Freshman forward Romeo Weems contributed 14 points and junior point guard Charlie Moore added 12 points before fouling out.
Sophomore guard Tre Gomillion paced Cleveland State (4-8) with 15 points. The Vikings had two chances to take the lead in the second half — the last time with 3:06 to go — but missed shots on both occasions. Cleveland State finished with 29 turnovers.
DePaul broke to a 16-4 lead in the opening seven minutes — capped by Moore’s steal and layup — as the Vikings committed seven turnovers. Cleveland State maintained its turnover-a-minute pace, yet found a way to pull within 22-15 on former Blue Demons power forward Al Eichelberger’s putback with 6:09 left in the half.
DePaul responded with a 9-0 run - senior guard Jalen Coleman-Lands scoring five points and Reed posting four — to restore order. The Blue Demons took a 35-21 lead into the break as the Vikings totaled 20 turnovers.
Cleveland State transferred its turnover problems to DePaul in the second half. Forcing seven Blue Demons turnovers, the Vikings went on a 14-2 spree in a 3 minute, 24 second stretch to pull into a 45-45 tie on junior guard Franklyn Penn Jr.’s 3-pointer with 10:24 left.
The Vikings had a chance to take their first lead of the night, but junior guard (and Chicago native) Craig Beaudoin missed a 3-pointer with eight minutes to go.
DePaul took advantage by going on a 10-2 run. Moore started the rally with a layup for a 3-point play. Junior center Jaylen Butz and Weems followed with layups, and Coleman-Lands hit a 3-pointer to make it 59-51 with six minutes to go.
The Vikings forced more DePaul turnovers and sneaked within 59-57 on junior guard Torrey Patton’s steal and 3-point play. The Vikings earned another chance to take their first lead, but Gomillion missed a layup with three minutes left.
—Field Level Media