Frustration Gets the Better of DePaul
Feb. 3, 2011
ROSEMONT, Ill. – When frustration reared its ugly head Thursday night at Allstate Arena, DePaul couldn’t find a way to cope with it.
What began as a breakdown late in the first half just kept getting worse in the Blue Demons’ 83-58 BIG EAST Conference loss to No. 9/8 Notre Dame.
“We have to be more strong when we go through the tough times,” said Moses Morgan, who scored 10 points and hit back-to-back three-pointers in the first half. “It’s more frustrating when a team breaks our press. We’re working so hard on the press, and then it just falls apart.”
DePaul had pulled to within 22-20 on a Jimmy Drew three-pointer when Notre Dame went on a 14-2 run.
That set up the Fighting Irish for a 37-24 halftime lead.
“Inexplicably, that’s happened five games in a row,” said DePaul coach Oliver Purnell. “With about five minutes to go (before halftime), the wheels come off mentally and physically with our play. We go down double digits at the half.
“Good teams sprint into halftime.”
It wasn’t long before Ben Hansbrough (game-high 24 points) had swished his third three-pointer of the second half to give Notre Dame (18-4, 7-3 in the BIG EAST) a commanding 55-31 lead.
“Hansbrough is playing outstanding basketball and has become an elite guard in the BIG EAST,” Purnell said. “They totally dominated in the second half with Hansbrough controlling the game.
“We had to get out of our press in the second half because we weren’t getting anything out of it.”
Notre Dame only committed nine turnovers while DePaul (6-15, 0-9) turned the ball over 18 times. Scott Martin had 15 points and seven rebounds for the Irish.
“Not getting any (BIG EAST) wins is kind of frustrating,” said Brandon Young who led the Blue Demons with 16 points and four assists. “When we get frustrated in a game, we look bad as a team. We come down and take crazy shots.
“They were hitting their shots, hustling and getting offensive rebounds going into halftime. We weren’t communicating on defense.”
Cleveland Melvin had his streak of double-figure scoring snapped at 13 straight games, finishing with four points and 10 rebounds.
“They were just being physical with him,” Purnell said about the constant contact from 6-foot, 8-inch, 232-pound Tyrone Nash. “They wouldn’t let him get to his sweet spot, and if he did, they were just banging him.”
DePaul has a quick turnaround, leaving on Friday for a BIG EAST road game against No. 15/13 Louisville at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
“They’ll get a good night’s sleep tonight and we’ll have a light practice on Friday,” Purnell said, admitting he was tempted to put his team through a more demanding workout. “They’ll get another good night’s sleep on Friday.
“They’re young and can bounce back quickly.”