DePaul basketball ruins coach Robinson’s homecoming
BY TONI GINNETTI Staff Reporter December 1, 2013 9:11PM
Updated: December 1, 2013 10:06PM
Oregon State coach Craig Robinson, a Chicago native, likes to schedule a game in the area for the holidays, but it was anything but ‘‘Sweet Home Chicago’’ on Sunday for First Lady Michelle Obama’s brother.
Robinson’s Beavers (3-2) saw their three-game winning streak end at the hands of a DePaul team that snapped a two-game losing streak.
The Blue Demons (4-3) dominated in a 93-81 victory at Allstate Arena. The Demons’ five starters scored in double figures with freshman guard Billy Garrett Jr. orchestrating the attack.
‘‘We knew DePaul would be ready to play after what they went through [two losses in Kansas City in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic], but we let the kid Garrett do whatever he wanted,’’ said Robinson, a former assistant at Northwestern. ‘‘I knew how good he was. We weren’t effective at all in stopping him. He’ll be a great point guard in this league.’’
A former Morgan Park standout, Garrett had his first double-double with 15 points and 10 assists in his second college start and was ‘‘the settling influence’’ on offense that coach Oliver Purnell is looking for. He played 36 minutes.
‘‘We knew they would throw a lot of [defensive] things at us, but he showed tremendous poise,’’ Purnell said. ‘‘He’ll go through growing pains, but he was awfully good.’’
The Beavers came back from a 12-point first-half deficit but trailed by 20 with 6:28 left.
‘‘It feels good, but especially to get the win,’’ said Garrett, whose dad is a DePaul assistant. ‘‘We learned from [the losses]. Coach chewed us out because we didn’t play to the level we should be at.
‘‘I like getting assists more than scoring points because it gets everyone on the team involved.’’
‘‘Little Bill was scoring points and distributing the ball,’’ said senior guard Brandon Young (21 points, five assists), who was out briefly in the second half after injuring his left ankle. ‘‘It felt bad at the time, but I wanted to get back in. But if I didn’t, I knew the way our team was playing that we’d be OK.’’
Young drew the defensive assignment against the Beavers’ leading scorer, Roberto Nelson, who came in averaging 27 points but scored 19.
Defensive specialist Charles McKinney normally draws those assignments, but the junior guard was suspended for violating an unspecified team rule.
‘‘Brandon took the challenge and got 21 points to boot,’’ Purnell said.