Paul Reed and Max Strus scored 24 points apiece as DePaul turned aside visiting Coastal Carolina 92-87 in the College Basketball Invitational semifinals Wednesday night at McGrath-Phillips Arena in Chicago.
Femi Olujobi added 18 points, Eli Cain chipped in 12 points and Jaylen Butz had 11 points for DePaul (19-15), which goes to the finals against the winner of Thursday night’s Loyola Marymount-South Florida game in the best-of-three finals.
Reed made 11 of 14 shots from the field, while Strus was 11-for-11 on free throws.
Zac Cuthbertson’s 21 points, Devante Jones’ 16, Ebrima Dibba’s 14 and Tyrell Gumbs-Frater’s 13 points paced Coastal Carolina (17-17), which was coming off a road victory against West Virginia in the second round.
The Chanticleers were boosted by 12 baskets from 3-point range, while DePaul was 4-for-17 from long range.
DePaul held a 36-24 rebounding bulge, but committed 15 turnovers to Coastal Carolina’s eight.
The scoring was at a rapid clip in the second half.
DePaul scored 36 points in the first 11 minutes of the second half, matching its first-half total.
The Blue Devils pulled away in the final nine minutes. A three-point play from Lyrik Shreiner created an 80-69 edge with 6:38 to play.
Coastal Carolina stormed back, pulling within 80-76 before missing a shot to get closer.
At 86-82, DePaul had three empty possessions while Coastal Carolina had two missed shots and a turnover. Finally, Reed scored for DePaul at the 31-second mark.
The Chanticleers went nearly two minutes without a point down the stretch before the Blue Demons re-built an eight-point lead.
Other than DePaul’s five-point lead in the opening minutes, neither team established much control in the first half. Coastal Carolina held a 38-36 lead at the break.
Strus had 38 points two nights earlier for the Blue Demons in a home victory against Longwood.
Coastal Carolina, which was in the CBI for the second time, has a 6-3 all-time record in the event.
This was the first-ever meeting between Coastal Carolina and DePaul.
—Field Level Media