Blue Demons Drop Game to Louisville
Feb. 27, 2013
ROSEMONT – It’s tough to win when it’s five against two.
DePaul’s pair of double-figure scorers in Brandon Young and Cleveland Melvin couldn’t match No. 10/9 Louisville’s quintet of scorers in double figures during Wednesday night’s 79-58 loss to the Cardinals at Allstate Arena.
Young and Melvin tried their best to keep the Blue Demons close. Young finished with a game-high 22 points and added six assists. Melvin finished with 20 points and three steals.
Trailing 60-44 with 9 minutes, 15 seconds left in the game, Young and Melvin sparked DePaul (11-17, 2-13 in the BIG EAST) on a 9-1 run to come within eight.
“We were competing very hard,” Young said. “We were talking to each other on offense, making shots and getting stops on defense.
“But Louisville came back at us and we let up a little. We let them do what they like to do.”
The Cardinals went on a 10-0 run that sealed the game and improved their record to 23-5, 11-4 in the BIG EAST. Russ Smith (17 points, five assists, four steals) and Peyton Siva (16 points, six assists) led the way for Louisville’s five scorers in double figures.
“I thought our lack of offensive control, shot selection and taking care of the ball was our undoing,” said DePaul coach Oliver Purnell. “Louisville had a hand in that, too. Louisville is one of the best teams in the country at converting turnovers into points.
“I was disappointed with our shot selection. We were hurt by our inefficient possessions in the last seven, eight minutes. We can’t take bad shots and expect to shoot a high percentage.
“There were times in the second half when we moved the ball, spaced it out, moved bodies and attacked inside-out. You could see the results. But when guys are standing around and taking shots, it’s frustrating.”
Trailing 34-25 at halftime, the Blue Demon deficit remained in the mid-teens midway through the second half. Young’s three-point play ignited that 9-1 run, and the junior guard followed up with a driving left-hand layup to put DePaul within 11.
Donnavan Kirk’s put-back reduced the deficit to 60-51 with 7:53 left on the clock. After a Smith foul shot, Melvin scored inside to make it 61-53. That was the closest DePaul would get in the second half.
A pair of Siva free throws and baskets by Gorgui Dieng (10 points), Montrezl Harrell (11 points), Smith and Siva bumped the Louisville lead to 18. Chane Behanan finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.
“Louisville always comes out fighting and competing hard,” Young said. “We had to match that tonight and compete at their level.”
Behanan’s three-point play left Louisville with a 24-16 lead towards the end of very physical first half. There was a lot of banging and shoving taking place underneath.
Melvin’s basket cut the DePaul deficit to 26-19. That was followed by a Melvin baseline jumper. The Cardinals finished the first half with an 8-4 burst to lead 34-25 at halftime.
The Blue Demons came out amped up and scored the first eight points of the game---two baskets by Young and two by Melvin. But Louisville answered back with a 10-0 run.
That early energy was betrayed by turnovers and some poor decision-making on passes. Louisville was ahead 19-14 when a behind-the-back pass from Young set up Melvin for a two-hand slam.
DePaul returns to action at 1 p.m. Sunday in a BIG EAST matchup at USF.
- Wednesday was the 59th meeting between the two programs... Louisville leads the series, 38-21... the Cardinals have won 10 straight games against the Blue Demons.
- Cleveland Melvin moved from 17th to 15th on DePaul's all-time scoring list... he passed Stanley Brundy (1985-89) for 16th and Tyrone Corbin (1981-85) for 15th.
- Melvin scored at least 20 points in back-to-back games for the first time since three straight games from Nov. 21-30...he has 10 games this season of at least 20 points and 27 in his career.
- Brandon Young passed Jim Lamkin (1951-55) and moved into 21st place on DePaul's all-time scoring list... he also moved from ninth to seventh on the all-time assists chart.
- Young scored at least 20 points for the eight time this season and 21st time in his career.
- With the loss, DePaul has now dropped 42 straight games against ranked opponents.