DePaul finally did it. The Blue Demons beat a Big East opponent during the regular season. All it took was a flair for the dramatic from Mike Stovall to pull it off.
Marquette missed the front ends of two 1-and-1 free throw opportunities, and Stovall hit the final two shots for DePaul, as the Blue Demons pulled off a shocking 51-50 victory over the Golden Eagles at Allstate Arena on Wednesday.
The junior wingman finished off for DePaul what Will Walker started. Walker scored 12 points in the first half in a duel with Marquette senior Lazar Hayward - who had 14. While the Blue Demons held Hayward scoreless in the second half, Walker scored 5 points and his teammates stepped up.
"As I watched [Walker] carry us through the first half I'm over on the bench trying to get the team hyped up with energy, to keep everybody up," Stovall said. "When coach gave me an opportunity to get in the game I just wanted to play all out and play my heart out."
Walker played all 40 minutes in the game. He was visibly fatigued down the stretch. He finished 7-16 from the field and had 17 points, 2 boards and 1 steal. Stovall finished with 9 of the biggest points of his career. When asked if had ever hit two bigger shots he just grinned.
Krys Faber chipped in with 10 boards for the Blue Demons and some excellent defense in the post. Eric Wallace was active inside as well. He had 7 boards and 6 points. Devin Hil chipped in 3 blocks, 2 boards and 4 points as the Blue Demons height appeared to bother the Golden Eagles.
Marquette scored 18 points in the second half. No one besides Hayward finished in double-figures.
"Our guys did a great job of battling, battling, battling," said interim head coach Tracy Webster. "That's all we ask for. To battle and battle for loose balls and really don't give up. I thought they did a really, really good job of not giving up."
Tonight was a night for battling. DePaul did enough right and the memories of a 24-game regular season Big East losing streak are just that, memories.
Chicago College Basketball will have full coverage of this momentous game for the Blue Demons on Thursday during the day. A full photo gallery and more reaction will come. If you'd like to relive the game just scroll to the bottom of the live-blog and read up. It should prove to be a rewarding experience.