CHICAGO (AP) — Paul Reed scored 23 points on 8-of-9 shooting, Jalen Coleman-Lands added 20 and DePaul upset No. 5 Butler 79-66 on Saturday.
Coleman-Lands was 3 for 5 from 3-point range and freshman Romeo Weems had 11 points as the Blue Demons knocked off a team ranked in the top five 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 (15-3, 3-2) 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.
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.
Reed and DePaul wasted no time getting started against the Bulldogs. The Blue Demons jumped out to a 22-6 lead. Reed, who scored 13 of DePaul’s first 17 points on 5-for-5 shooting, showcased all dimensions of his game. The 6-foot-9 junior made a 3 to give DePaul a 15-6 lead, and then on the next possession, he had a dunk that was set up by Charlie Moore.
Darious Hall had a steal and layup to cap off the DePaul run. Reed continued his hot shooting by burying another 3. Reed picked up his second foul on an offensive call with 6:05 left in the first half. He played sparingly the remainder of the half.
That’s when Butler chipped away at DePaul’s lead. Tucker’s 3 got Butler to 35-31, but Coleman-Lands was fouled on a 3-point attempt, connecting on all three free throws, and Weems made a 3 as time expired to give DePaul a 44-34 lead at the half. Reed finished with 18 in the half on 6-for-6 shooting.
Butler: As DePaul found out, the Big East is unforgiving this season. After a tough home loss to Seton Hall on Wednesday and the blowout loss to DePaul, the Bulldogs have to face Villanova next.
DePaul: The Blue Demons showed perseverance after dropping a tough overtime loss at Villanova on Tuesday. With the convincing win over Butler, DePaul proved to be in the mix for its first NCAA Tournament appearance since the 2003-2004 season.
Butler: At No. 14 Villanova on Tuesday.
DePaul: Hosts No. 25 Creighton on Wednesday.