The Blue Demons return home on Sunday to face the Milwaukee Panthers in a non-conference tilt.
DePaul Cruises Past Milwaukee
"It may have been our best overall effort of the season," said DePaul coach Oliver Purnell. "We rebounded the ball pretty well all night long. We shared the ball and played the game the right way. I felt real good about the effort."
Junior center Donnavan Kirk led the way with 14 points for the Blue Demons. In his first start since suffering a sprained knee back in November, sophomore Jamee Crockett scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds.
Junior guard Brandon Young, who hit his chin on the floor in the first half and will need stitches after the game, contributed with 13 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Cleveland Melvin finished with 11 points and five rebounds. Moses Morgan came off the bench to contribute nine points.
Worrel Clahar dished out a career-high 10 assists, grabbed eight rebounds, and scored four points. Even walkon freshman Peter Ryckbosch got into the act scoring six points in the game's final minutes.
It was a big difference from last year, where the Blue Demons lost at home to the Panthers.
"It was a little bit of payback," said Clahar. "We're trying to really grasp our homecourt advantage. It's our home, we have to take care of it."
Last year, the crowd witnessed a barrage of three pointers from Milwaukee. This year it was a different story as the Blue Demons held the Panthers to one of 17 shooting from beyond the arc.
Former Peoria Manual guard Paris Gulley led the way for the Panthers with 14 points.
The Blue Demons hit the road next and travel to Arizona State to face the Sun Devils on Wednesday night in Tempe.
• Today's game was the 11th meeting between the two schools. DePaul now holds the series lead, 11-1.
• Head coach Oliver Purnell improved to 3-1 in his career versus Milwaukee. The Blue Demons improved to 14-3 overall in the Purnell era when surpassing 80 points. • DePaul improved to 105-36 all-time against the current Horizon League lineup.
DePaul Team Notes
• Key Runs: After falling behind 4-0 early, the Blue Demons responded with a 7-0 run covering 2:53 to reclaim the lead for good.
• Trailing 8-7, DePaul began to put distance between themselves and Milwaukee with a 14-0 run spanning 3:26 and resulting in a 21-8 DPU lead with 11:02 to go. The run eventually grew to a 23-4 stretch putting the Blue Demons up 30-12 with 7:10 to play before the break.
• DePaul extended its streak of consecutive games with a three-pointer to 588... Moses Morgan hit the Blue Demons first triple at the 14:28 mark in the first half... the last time the Blue Demons failed to hit from beyond the arc was Feb. 16, 1993 against UAB at Allstate Arena.
• With 45 first half points, DePaul equaled its third-best offensive half of the season. The Blue Demons' biggest outburst came in the first half of the first game of the season when DePaul deposited 58 points against UC Riverside on Nov. 9.
• DePaul held Milwaukee to a 25.8 percent mark from the field (16-of-62), the lowest number of any opponent this season. The Panthers also finished just 1-of-17 (5.9 percent) from beyond the arc.
• DePaul achieved its largest team lead of the season (41 points) with 5:28 remaining in the game when Peter Ryckbosch nailed a layup to put the Blue Demons on top 78-37.
• The Blue Demons finished with a season-high eight blocks. Cleveland Melvin had a season-high three rejections and passed Kevin Holmes (79) for 11th place all-time in his career. Melvin now has 82 career blocks.
• DePaul improved to 5-0 overall on the season when leading at halftime and is also undefeated when winning the rebounding battle.
DePaul Individual Notes
• Forward Cleveland Melvin reached double figures (11 points) for the 23rd consecutive game, but it equaled his lowest scoring output of the season (11 points vs. Wichita State on Nov. 20)
• Guard Brandon Young (13 points) finished in double figures for the 13th game in a row.
• Worrel Clahar had a career-high 10 assists and finished just short of his first career double-double with eight rebounds. The senior guard posted 26 rebounds in the season's first seven games and has recorded 17 in his past two after a nine rebound performance at Chicago State last Wednesday.
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