Blue Demons Kick Off Season with 96-58 Win Over Grambling State
Nov. 9, 2013
CHICAGO – DePaul used the inside-out tandem of Cleveland Melvin and Tommy Hamilton IV to roll to a 96-58 win over visiting Grambling State in its 2013-14 season opener on Saturday at McGrath-Phillips Arena.
Hamilton scored 16 points and grabbed 11 boards, recording a double-double in his first collegiate action. Melvin, who moved into DePaul’s all-time top 10 scorers with a team-high 17 points, didn’t miss from beyond the arc on his way to a career-high five triples.
Junior Jamee Crockett also chipped in with 10 points, hitting two of DePaul’s 11 total three-pointers. The Blue Demons were 11-of-21 from three-point range (52 percent).
All 14 players that entered the game for DePaul scored as the Blue Demons put up their most points since a 98-67 win over Austin Peay on Nov. 17, 2012 at Allstate Arena. The Blue Demons used their size advantage to out-rebound the Tigers 53-37 and got a big performance from their bench, which scored 48 total points.
A’Torri Shine poured in a game-high 21 for the Tigers (0-1) in the setback, knocking down three triples and grabbing seven rebounds.
The Blue Demons’ first basket of the season came on a Melvin triple at 18:42 as DePaul built a 10-2 lead in the game’s first 3:43. Another three by Melvin at the 13:55 mark pushed the Blue Demon advantage to 15-4.
DePaul continued to cruise with the help of its defense, which held Grambling State to just 35 percent shooting in the first half – the Blue Demons allowed just nine points through the game’s first 11:27.
Prior to the break, DePaul built its largest lead (18 points) on a three-pointer by Crockett with 18 seconds left on the clock.
DePaul led 44-26 going into the locker room, getting some strong outside shooting (5-of-10) and inside play from Hamilton. The 6-10 center put up a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds in the first half alone. Melvin, who drained all three of his attempts from beyond the arc, tied a career mark in the first half as well.
Melvin stayed hot out of the locker room, hitting on his first two attempts from three-point range to set a new career-best as DePaul built its lead to 55-28 with 17:18 to play.
A three by Durrell McDonald and fast break lay-in by Young led to a 71-41 DePaul lead with 9:08 to play. Another steal by Young less than a minute later resulted in a transition bucket and a 31-point lead for the Blue Demons, 75-44.
DePaul’s largest lead of the game came with just 37 seconds remaining, 96-56, on a three-pointer by R.J. Curington.
DePaul will play next in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic on Wednesday, Nov. 13 against Southern Miss. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. CT.
Notes: Today’s game marked the start of the 91st season of DePaul basketball… DePaul improved to 80-11 all-time in season openers… the Blue Demons have won each of their last six opening games… today’s game was the fifth all-time season opener at McGrath-Phillips Arena and the Blue Demons improved to 8-1 at the facility… DePaul improved to 9-0 all-time against the SWAC… Oliver Purnell won his 425th game as a collegiate coach and is now 425-343 in 26 years as a head coach… Tommy Hamilton IV put up a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds in the first half alone, going on to a final stat line of 16 points, 11 rebounds in his collegiate debut… Cleveland Melvin tied a career-high with three three-pointers in the opening half and finished with five… Melvin was a perfect 5-for-5 from the three-point line… the last time a DePaul player was perfect from three-point range was Dec. 5, 2010 when Brandon Young hit all six of his attempts… Melvin is just the fifth player in program history to go perfect from three-point range in a game (minimum five attempts)... Melvin’s three just 1:18 into the game extended DePaul’s streak of games with a made triple to 612... Peter Ryckbosch recorded career-highs of eight points and five rebounds in 17 minutes of action.