■ DePaul holds on to knock off No. 5 But­ler at Win­trust Arena for the Blue Demons’ first win in Big East play.

DePaul gets first Big East win in dis­man­tling of No. 5 But­ler

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - CHICAGO SPORTS - By Pa­trick Rose

In just two weeks of play in the Big East, DePaul was on the verge of ru­in­ing ev­ery­thing it es­tab­lished dur­ing an im­pres­sive non­con­fer­ence sea­son.

But on Sat­ur­day, DePaul changed course with an elu­sive vic­tory over a top-five op­po­nent.

Paul Reed scored 23 points on 8-of-9 shoot­ing and had nine re­bounds, Jalen Cole­man-Lands added 20 points, and DePaul up­set No. 5 But­ler 79-66 at Win­trust Arena.

Cole­man-Lands was 3-for-5 from 3point range, and fresh­man Romeo Weems scored 11 points as the Blue Demons knocked off a top-five team for the first time since beat­ing No. 5 Kansas on Dec. 2, 2006.

Af­ter a dis­ap­point­ing 0-4 start in the Big East, with close losses to Se­ton Hall and Vil­lanova, DePaul (13-5, 1-4) left lit­tle doubt against But­ler that its non­con­fer­ence sea­son wasn’t a fluke.

The 12-1 start in­cluded road wins at Iowa and Min­nesota and a vic­tory at home against last sea­son’s na­tional run­ner-up, Texas Tech.

“The last cou­ple of weeks has not been easy for any­body, our locker room most im­por­tantly, but as I kept telling them, ‘We have stay the course, stay the course,’” DePaul coach Dave Leitao said.

The vic­tory over But­ler (15-3, 3-2) reaf­firmed that DePaul, which has been a bot­tom-feeder since join­ing the con­fer­ence in 2005, won’t be an easy out this sea­son in the Big East.

“It shows we have re­ally good po­ten­tial; it shows if we come to­gether, like I said all year long, we can beat any­body, but also if we don’t, any­one in this league can beat us, and that has shown it­self, too,“Leitao said.

But­ler, which was com­ing off a home loss to Se­ton Hall on Wed­nes­day, never led and trailed by dou­ble dig­its the en­tire se­cond half.

The Bull­dogs gave up a sea­son-high 44 first-half points, the most since giv­ing up 34 in a loss to Bay­lor.

Ka­mar Bald­win led But­ler with 16 points and Jor­dan Tucker added 13. The loss snapped an 11-game win­ning streak against DePaul.

“They have a re­ally good start to it, set­ting the tone early,” But­ler coach LaVall Jor­dan said. “It’s go­ing be dif­fi­cult if we’re putting peo­ple on the line 32 times in a game, that’s an is­sue.

“We’ve got to be able to de­fend with­out foul­ing. If we turn the ball over 17 times, that’s not the for­mula to have a chance in this league. We’ve got to be bet­ter as coaches. Our guys just have to un­der­stand ev­ery night in the Big East, this is what it is.”

JOHN J. KIM/CHICAGO TRI­BUNE

DePaul’s Romeo Weems cel­e­brates a 79-66 win against No. 5 But­ler on Sat­ur­day.

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