Just 30 seconds into the second quarter, DePaul Prep’s Perry Cowan was relegated to the bench after picking up his second foul.
The benching didn’t seem to sit well with Cowan, as he came out of halftime on a mission, scoring 18 of his game high 27 points after the break to lead DePaul to a 69-56 win over St. Laurence.
“I got into foul trouble. Coach told me to slow down and play straight up,” said Cowan. “I was playing off balance and I had to play straight up.”
“He floated a little bit on his jump shot and we told him he had to go straight up,” said DePaul Prep head coach Tom Kleinschmidt. “He really picked it up for us in the second half. He’s a big time player and he did what he was supposed to do.”
As expected, both teams came out of the gate trying to play the game at their pace, with St. Laurence gunning it up and down the floor and DePaul being a little more methodical with their offense.
Despite the drastic difference in style of play, both teams found success scoring the basketball in the opening quarter, which led to a slim 18-17 DePaul lead.
The offensive output stagnated slightly early in the second quarter, in large part to Cowan’s absence, but DePaul got right back on track with some help from unlikely contributors.
Freshmen Tyler Johnson and Cam Lewis logged some extremely important minutes for DePaul, especially Johnson who scored all seven of his points for the Rams in the second quarter to keep the game level at 37 going into halftime.
“The Freshmen really kept us in the game in that second quarter,” said Kleinschmidt. “We really had some guys grow up quick. It’s good for us it’s going to make us better and gives us some depth I didn’t know we had.”
Out of halftime, DePaul looked like a completely new team. The Rams bottled up the St. Laurence offense, which included keeping the extremely talented Isaiah Harvey (13 points) in check for most of the evening.
“We guarded in the second half, we didn’t guard in the first half,” said Kleinschmidt. “We…motivated them them at halftime and they responded,”
From that point on, it was the Perry Cowan and Raheem Anthony show. The two juniors helped DePaul race out to a double digit lead in the third quarter and never looked back.
St. Laurence had their fair share of opportunities to cut into DePaul’s fourth quarter lead after forcing a few turnovers, but the Vikings were never able to come within six points and DePaul would close out the game and take the 69-56 win.
In addition to Cowan’s 27 points, Anthony chipped in with 20 of his own, while St. Laurence were led by Harvey’s 13 and Jeremiah Williams’ 12.
DePaul has a quick turnaround as they will have a home, non-conference matchup against Sullivan, Saturday at 5:30. St. Laurence will have a little more time to recuperate from their first loss of the season with tournament game against Rich East at Marist, next Wednesday.