CHICAGO - David Joplin and Marquette can score in a variety of ways. And it doesn’t matter to them where they get their points.
That makes the Golden Eagles one tough matchup, especially for a struggling team like DePaul.
Joplin made six of Marquette’s 15 3-pointers, and the 14th-ranked Golden Eagles beat DePaul 86-73 on Wednesday night in the Blue Demons’ first game under interim coach Matt Brady.
"That’s why we work so hard. Just try to be unguardable," Joplin said. "Usually teams try to take away our 3s, so we try to get to the paint as much as possible. We’ve been focusing on that and emphasizing that, and then today, they just left us open."\
Marquette (14-5, 5-3 Big East) scored a total of 112 points in the paint during victories over Villanova and St. John’s in its previous two games. But it still loves to take aim from deep, going 15 for 33 from 3 against DePaul.
"You kind of take what the other team’s giving you," Marquette coach Shaka Smart said. "They played some zone early in the game. The guys did a good job finding each other. We got a lot of good looks up."
Marquette shot 54.5% from the field overall. Joplin finished with 21 points after he scored a career-high 28 during an 89-69 win at DePaul last season. Tyler Kolek had 22 points and seven assists, and Oso Ighodaro finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.
"I thought we got some great contributions from a variety of guys on our team," Smart said.
David Joplin #23 of the Marquette Golden Eagles celebrates a shot in the second half during a college basketball game against the DePaul Blue Demons at the Wintrust Arena on January 24, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Image
Brady was elevated to the interim job after Tony Stubblefield was fired on Monday. DePaul (3-16, 0-8) has dropped seven in a row.
Jalen Terry scored 22 points for the Blue Demons, and Jeremiah Oden finished with 19.
"The challenge as a head coach is when you don’t have the best players — we don’t, that’s clearly evident — but we have good kids," Brady said. "My goal in this is to make this a really positive experience for these guys in the next eight weeks. Whether or not that includes wins, I don’t know."
The Blue Demons played their second straight game without Chico Carter Jr., who averages a team-high 11.8 points. The 6-foot-2 guard has an unspecified injury that will sideline him for an "extended" time period, according to the school.
DePaul put together an encouraging start, but Marquette started to assert itself midway through the first half. Kam Jones’ 3-pointer sparked a 20-3 run for the Golden Eagles, and Kolek’s 3 off Ighodaro’s offensive rebound made it 40-21 with 6:28 remaining.
Marquette limited DePaul to one made field goal — Terry’s 3 with 9:45 left — and forced four turnovers during the key stretch.
The Blue Demons pulled within eight on Oden’s layup early in the second half, but Ben Gold made consecutive 3s from the same corner to make it 59-44 with 16:06 remaining. The Golden Eagles maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
Jones, who was averaging a team-high 15.1 points coming into game, finished with three points on 1-for-5 shooting.
Marquette: Smart used eight players, and Gold was the only reserve who scored. Depth could be a concern as the Golden Eagles look to finish the season strong.
DePaul: The Blue Demons played with more energy and resolve than they showed in their final games under Stubblefield, but they were hurt by their usual defensive issues. It was their highest scoring game since a 75-68 win against Louisville on Dec. 9.
"I think that tonight we did a good job of trying to get player movement and ball movement," Oden said. "We’re still adjusting. We put in some new things. We’re not reinventing the wheel, but we put in some new things."
Marquette hosts Seton Hall on Saturday.
DePaul visits No. 17 Creighton on Saturday night.