Notre Dame Escapes DePaul with OT Win

Notre Dame Escapes DePaul with OT Win

For the second straight game this week, the Blue Demons scrapped and took their opponent to overtime, but couldn't prevail in the end as Notre Dame walked out of Allstate Arena with a 79-71 victory.

DePaul (10-11, 1-7) came up short during the overtime period by only managing to score one point during the extra stanza.

It was the second time this week it was close but no cigar for the Blue Demons who are looking to turn the corner in the Big East schedule.

"We have to keep fighting and hitting that rock until we break it," said DePaul coach Oliver Purnell. "I'm disappointed for them because they did bounce back. They put themselves in position to win the ballgame. We didn't get it done and we got to go back and improve in a lot of different areas to continue to give ourselves a better chance."

Notre Dame (18-4, 6-3) was led by a double-double effort from big man Jack Cooley. Cooley racked up 26 points and 16 rebounds to lead all scorers in both categories.

Eric Atkins added 16 points and Jerian Grant chipped in with 10 points for the Irish.

The difference was the veteran experience that the Fighting Irish have.

"I think it's because you have experience," said Notre Dame coach Mike Brey. "These guys have been through it a lot. I thought our guards were so steady. They calmed us down."

The Blue Demons had some balanced scoring today with all five of their starters in double-figures. DePaul junior Brandon Young led the way with 15 points and five assists.

"It was a great crowd out there," said Young. "We fed off their energy and we couldn't pull it off at the end."

Junior forward Cleveland Melvin recorded a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Jamee Crockett got off to a great start in the first half and finished with 13 points. Donnavan Kirk added 11 points and seven rebounds, while Charles McKinney chipped in with 10 points including two from three-point range.

DePaul next hosts Villanova at Allstate Arena on Tuesday night with an early 6 p.m. start time.

Box Score

Notes:

- With Jamee Crockett's three-pointer to open the scoring for the Blue Demons, DePaul extended its streak to 600 consecutive games with a three-pointer.

- The Blue Demons played an overtime game for the second straight game... it is the first time with back-to-back overtime games since the 1987-88 season... the Blue Demons lost to Pepperdine, 84-76, on Nov. 28 and defeated Niagara, 88-87, in overtime.

-Cleveland Melvin finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season and 13th of his career.

- DePaul is 36-37 all-time in overtime games.

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