GAME FIVE RECAP: DePAUL PREP 50, ST. CHARLES EAST 47 (OT)
HINSDALE, Ill. - Omar Perocevic’s three-pointer in overtime helped propel DePaul College Prep to a 50-47 win over St. Charles East in the opening round of the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic.
St. Charles East (7-3) built a 26-20 lead at the half after both teams struggled with their shooting. Neither squad shot better than 30 percent from the floor in the half. The Saints pushed their lead up to eight points early in the third quarter, but DePual (5-6) responded with 14-2 run for the final seven minutes of the third quarter, taking a 34-30 lead into the fourth.
DePaul led 41-37 with two minutes to play, but a three-pointer from Justin Hardy pulled the Saints to within a point. After DePaul hit a free throw, St. Charles’ Evan DiLeonoardi hit a game-tying layup with 39 seconds to knot the score at 42-all. DePual held for one shot, but Craig Atkins’ three-pointer was off the mark, sending the game into overtime.
After nearly three scoreless minutes in the extra period, Perocevic delivered the key blow, netting a baseline three-pointer, his first bucket of the game, to give DePaul a three-point cushion. DePaul pushed its lead up to five points after a pair of free throws from Atkins, but a trey from Hardy brought St. Charles East back to within two points with 37 seconds left on the clock. A free throw from Perry Cowan gave DePaul a 50-47 lead with under 10 seconds remaining. DiLeonardi’s three-point attempt rattled off the rim, giving DePaul the three-point win.
DePaul overcame a poor shooting night by winning the battles on the glass and in turnovers. DePaul shot just 23.6 percent (13-of-55) from the floor, including 19.0 percent (4-of-21) from downtown. The Rams made up for shooting by outrebounding St. Charles East 40-34, including an 18-5 edge on the offensive glass. DePaul scored 15 second-chance points off the 18 offensive rebounds. The Rams also converted 14 Saints’ turnovers into 16 points.
Atkins paced DePaul in the win, dropping in 22 points and pulling down five rebounds. Cowan finished with a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds.
St. Charles East shot 41.0 percent (16-of-39) from the floor, including 40.0 percent (6-of-15) from beyond the arc. Hardy led the Saints and all scorers in the loss, pumping in a game-high 24 points while shooting 8-of-9 from the floor. He added seven rebounds in the loss. T.J. Ford scored nine points while DiLeonardi totaled seven points and seven rebounds.
DePaul will face the winner of the Maine South/Urban Prep Englewood contest in a quarterfinal on Monday, December 28, at 7:00 p.m. St. Charles East will face the loser of Maine South/Urban Prep Englewood in a consolation game on Monday at 12:30 p.m.