DePaul advances to the Finals of the Roman College Basketball Invitational
March 27, 2019
Paul Reed and Max Strus scored 24 points apiece to lead DePaul to a 92-87 win over Coastal Carolina in the semifinals of the Roman College Basketball Invitational.
The Blue Demons await their Finals opponent as South Florida hosts Loyola Marymount on Thursday in a 7:00pm (ET) tip for the other spot in the Finals.
The game was a tight battle throughout with Coastal taking a 38-36 lead at the half. It continued to go back and forth for the first eight minutes of the second half until DePaul’s Jaylen Butz broke a 62-62 tie with a pair of free throws with 11:39 to play. That was the start of an 18-7 Blue Demons’ run over the next five minutes, giving them the largest lead of the game at 80-69 with 6:38 to play.
The Chanticleers fought back over the next four minutes with Tyrell Gumbs-Frater making a pair of 3-pointers and Tommy Burton hitting a lay-up to culminate a 13-6 run that cut lead to 86-82 with 2:11 remaining.
Each team went scoreless over the next 1:40 before Reed converted a lay-up with 31 seconds to play to give DePaul an 88-82 margin. Femi Olujobi (pictured) sank two free throws with 17 seconds remaining to extend the DePaul lead to 90-82. Gumbs-Frater’s jumper cut the deficit to 90-84 two seconds later but Strus’ pair of made free throws with 12 seconds to go nailed the door shut. The scoring concluded with DeVante Jones sinking a 3-pointer with four seconds left to make it 92-87.
In addition to his 24 points, which included an 11-of-11 effort at the foul line, Strus also hauled down seven rebounds. Olujobi posted 18 points and eight rebounds, Eli Cain scored 12 points, and Butz ended the game with 11 points.
The Blue Demons dominated the inside game, doubling the Chants in points in the paint, 56-28, and outrebounding them, 36-24. DePaul was also 22-of-23 from the line while Coastal was 11-of-15.
The Chants, who were looking to return to the CBI Finals after advancing in 2017, were led in scoring by Zac Cuthbertson and his 21 points. Jones ended the game with 16 points and seven assists, Ebrima Dibba tallied 14 points, and Gumbs-Frater netted 13 points.
Outside shooting kept the Chants in the game as they were 12-of-31 from behind the arc while DePaul was just 4-of-17.
DePaul and the winner of Thursday’s LMU-USF game will participate in the Roman CBI Finals best-of-three series, beginning on Monday, April 1, and continuing on Wednesday, April 3, and Friday, April 5 (if necessary). The Finals will air on ESPNU with Roy Philpott and Tim McCormick calling the action.
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About the Gazelle Group
The College Basketball Invitational is produced by the Gazelle Group of Princeton, N.J. The Gazelle Group is a sports marketing firm, specializing in event production and management, client representation, and sponsorship consulting. Gazelle produces numerous nationally-recognized events, such as the Empire Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project, Legends Classic presented by Old Trapper, the Sunshine Slam, and the Gotham Classic. For more information on the Gazelle Group, please visit gazellegroup.com
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