December 15, 2018 / 2:35 AM / 6 months ago

Strus leads barrage as DePaul rips Ill.-Chicago

EditorsNote: Minor fixes

Max Strus scored a career-high 34 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as host DePaul rolled past Illinois-Chicago 90-70 on Friday night in Chicago.

Devin Gage (15 points), Paul Reed (13), Jalen Coleman-Lands (10) and Eli Cain (10) also finished in double figures for the Blue Demons (7-2), who have won all seven of their home games.

Tarkus Ferguson scored 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Flames (4-7). Marcus Ottey had 17 points, Jordan Blount had 10 points and eight rebounds and Godwin Boahen also had 10 points.

Strus nearly had a double-double by halftime with 20 points and seven rebounds, keying a torrid shooting stretch that allowed the Blue Demons to seize and maintain control early.

DePaul raced to a 52-28 halftime lead by shooting 18-for-32 (56.3 percent), including 8-for-14 (57.1 percent) from 3-point range.

The Blue Demons shot 52.5 percent for the game while hitting 12 treys and forcing 20 turnovers. Strus tied a program record with eight 3-pointers.

Strus, whose previous career high was 33 points, swished 5 of his 8 attempts from behind the arc in the first 20 minutes, while Coleman-Lands was 2-for-4 from long range in the first half.

DePaul drilled four treys in the first four minutes to take an early 13-2 lead but proved equally successful in its midrange and inside game. An 11-0 run later in the half included just one 3-pointer as the Blue Demons boosted their lead to 34-15 with 5:21 left before the break.

Early struggles hampered the Flames, who committed 13 turnovers in the first half. UIC shot just 11-for-28 before halftime as its season-long road woes continued. Playing at Wintrust Arena for the first time, the Flames fell to 0-6 on the road.

UIC opened the second half on a 9-2 run to draw within 17 points before Strus again channeled his marksmanship, thwarting the surge with two treys in a 24-second span.

UIC is set to host Incarnate Word on Monday. The Blue Demons are off until Wednesday, when they also will host the Cardinals.

—Field Level Media

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