Charlie Moore had 21 points, 12 assists and five steals as DePaul pulled out a 73-68 win at Minnesota on Saturday afternoon in Minneapolis for its best start in 33 years.
The Blue Demons are 8-0 for the first time since 1986-87, when they won their first 16 games en route to a 28-3 record and a Sweet 16 appearance.
Moore’s steal and layup with 4:20 left gave his team a 69-63 lead. DePaul would only make one more field goal the rest of the way but Minnesota (3-4) failed to score outside of the foul line over the final 6:34.
Minnesota had a chance to tie it in the final seconds but Gabe Kalscheur’s 3-point attempt was blocked by DePaul’s Paul Reed, who had 11 points, nine rebounds and eight blocks.
The Golden Gophers missed seven free throws in the second half and 11 for the game, compounding their 34.4 percent shooting from the field and 7-of-29 performance from 3-point range. They had 21 offensive rebounds but only 15 second-chance points, squandering a 19-point, 18-rebound effort from sophomore center Daniel Oturu.
DePaul led 35-33 at halftime after Minnesota ended the first half on a 9-0 run. The Blue Demons made six of their first seven shots in the second half to build a 49-41 edge only to see the Golden Gophers go on a 9-2 run to get within 51-50 with 12:57 left.
But the game turned on a four-point play by DePaul’s Markese Jacobs, who pump-faked a 3-pointer and then banked in the shot while drawing a foul. That helped the Demons build a 61-52 lead with 10:32 left.
Minnesota got within 65-63 with 5:44 left thanks to an 8-0 run before Moore had back-to-back baskets including the game-sealing steal and score.
Payton Willis added 16 points for the Golden Gophers, who missed 11 of their last 13 field-goal attempts.
DePaul is 3-0 on the road this season, each win coming on the court of a power-conference opponent. The Blue Demons have also won at Iowa and Boston College.
—Field Level Media