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Blue Demons Ride Hot Shooting to 93-81 Win Over Oregon State
Cleveland Melvin scored 23-points to lead DePaul on Sunday at Allstate Arena.

Cleveland Melvin scored 23-points to lead DePaul on Sunday at Allstate Arena.

Dec. 1, 2013

Postgame: Box Score Get Acrobat Reader | Postgame Audio | Photo Gallery | Video Recap
Interviews: Billy Garrett, Jr. | Brandon Young | Oliver Purnell

ROSEMONT, Ill. – After a strong tongue-lashing from coach Oliver Purnell earlier in the week, DePaul came out and played its best game of the season on Sunday.

Putting forth a complete effort with five players in double figures, the Blue Demons knocked off Oregon State 93-81 at Allstate Arena.

Billy Garrett Jr. headed up a balanced attack with 15 points and 10 assists. Cleveland Melvin had 23 points and seven rebounds while Brandon Young filled up the box score with 21 points, five rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks.

Sandi Marcius made all six of his shots for a career-high 15 points while adding six rebounds. Fellow big man Tommy Hamilton IV contributed 14 points.

“Anytime you get five guys in double figures, you’re going to win 95 percent of the time,” Purnell said. “This was a nice bounce-back win for us.

“Offensive control for the bulk of the game was a big key for us, and that was because of the settling influence of Billy Garrett. He got the ball to Cleve (Melvin) and Brandon in great spots to score and got the ball to our bigs as well.

“He showed tremendous poise out there, and I was really pleased with his stamina (36 minutes). He was playing so good, it was hard to take him out.”

Hamilton’s three-point shot provided DePaul (4-3) with a 57-45 lead early in the second half. Melvin’s five points ignited a 12-3 spurt culminated by Hamilton’s three.

The Beavers cut the margin to seven when a Marcius dunk and Young’s free throws and layup along with a Garrett layup made it 68-53 in the middle of the second half. DePaul maintained a 15-point lead with less than eight minutes to go.

Melvin’s three and a Durrell McDonald layup off a nice feed from Garrett gave the Blue Demons a 79-60 lead. Following a Beaver foul shot, a Marcius layup made it a 20-point game.

“We learned from our experience in Kansas City (two losses in CBE Hall of Fame Classic),” Garrett said. “Coach chewed out Sandi, me---everybody. He emphasized defense and rebounding better.

“It feels great to get assists and make other people better. I’d rather get assists than scoring points.”

Young did a terrific job guarding Oregon State’s leading scorer Roberto Nelson who came into Sunday averaging 27 points per game. Young held him to eight points in the first half and 12 with six minutes left in the game.

“I thought we stymied him and bottled him up,” Purnell said. “Brandon was the primary guy on Nelson and he accepted the challenge. His teammates gave him some help with traps and switching on defense.”

Young turned in a complete effort on both ends of the court.

“It was tough and physical out there, and I tried to make it difficult for him (Nelson) today,” Young said. “I tried to make him work real hard off the ball.”

“Sandi did a great job today. He was scoring points and getting rebounds."

Purnell agreed with his senior guard.

“I thought Sandi was tough and physical today,” Purnell said. “He looked more relaxed and didn’t get into early foul trouble.

“That’s what we need from him. He needs to be strong and physical and get rebounds. I thought he caught the ball better.”

A balanced attack got DePaul off to a 13-6 start in what shaped up as a physical game. Bodies were banging down low in a battle for position right from the opening tip.

A pair of Hamilton free throws gave the Blue Demons a 22-13 lead and a 7-1 run in the middle of the first half. The home team made eight for its first 11 shots (73 percent). DePaul finished shooting 58 percent for the game.

After the Beavers had trimmed the lead to five, Melvin scored on back-to-back jumpers for a 30-21 advantage.

Melvin had put his team ahead 35-23 when Oregon State (3-2) went on a 10-0 burst to draw within 35-33. A Jamee Crockett three-pointer upped the lead to five.

Oregon State tied it 39-39 on a Devon Collier corner jumper. That gave the 6-8 forward 22 points in the first half, and he finished with a game-high 32. Garrett’s three-pointer and a Young foul shot sent DePaul into halftime with a 43-39 lead. Young had 11 points while Hamilton and Melvin had nine each in the first 20 minutes.

This was the onset of five consecutive games at Allstate Arena. Part two of the home stand tips off at 6 p.m. Friday when the Blue Demons take on Arizona State.

Notes: Marcius posted a career-high with 15 points and made all six of his shots from the field... Melvin finished with 20-plus points for the 28th time in his career... Young made his 100th career start and reached double-figures for the 80th time in his career... the game was only the second meeting between the programs and first since Dec. 21, 1945... DePaul now leads the series 2-0... the Blue Demons are 4-0 after leading at halftime in 2013... DePaul is now 19-3 when scoring 80-plus points under Oliver Purnell... both Young and Melvin reached the 20-point plateau, becoming the first pair of players to do so since they pulled off the feat on Feb. 27, 2013 versus Louisville.