Blue Demons Clip Cougars on South Side, 74-64
Dec. 5, 2012
CHICAGO - It was a tale of two halves as the DePaul men's basketball team recovered from a slow start to put away a pesky Chicago State squad, 74-64, on Wednesday, December 5 at the Jones Convocation Center.
Led by Brandon Young'sseason-high 21-point effort, it was DePaul's eighth straight win over a Chicagoland program, dropping the Cougars to 2-8 overall. The Blue Demons improved to 5-3 with their third consecutive win.
Young finished the night tying a career-high with a 10-for-12 performance at the foul line and led his team back from an ugly first half that found the Blue Demons trailing by 14 at the break.
Young's efforts were matched by the DePaul defense in the second half. After allowing CSU to shoot 53 percent before the break, the Blue Demons bounced back in the second stanza limiting the Cougars to just five field goals on 5-of-26 shooting (19.2 percent).
The junior guard also got help from Cleveland Melvin, who scored 12 points and added 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season.
Senior guard Worrel Claharadded a career-high nine rebounds and tied a season-high with 11 points
Seven combined turnovers highlighted a sloppy opening four minutes, as it was a one point game, 11-10, just over five minutes into the opening half.
The Blue Demons began to pull ahead, however, with a 10-2 run covering 2:39. Leading 20-10 after a pair of converted free throws by Derrell Robertson, the Blue Demons seemed to be in full control.
The Cougars responded by steadily chipping away at DePaul's lead and eventually tied the contest, 24-24, at the 7:27 mark with a 14-4 run of their own. After losing the lead DePaul went cold from the field, scoring just six points during the remainder of the half.
Conversely, Chicago State found it hard to miss finishing the half on a 16-6 run and shooting 52.9 percent (18-of-34) over the first half. The Cougars went into the locker room with their biggest lead of the game, 44-30.
The Blue Demons began the second stanza on a 13-2 run, closing the gap to 46-43 and playing with a renewed sense of urgency on defense. The DePaul defense blanketed the Cougars and limited their offense to just one bucket in the opening 8:16 of play.
Melvin sank a pair of free throws with 8:32 to go to help DePaul regain the lead, 51-50, for the first time since the 7:26 mark of the first half.
CSU's Greg Tucker knotted the game again at 53 with a triple at the other end of the court before Young answered with a three of his own to give DePaul a 56-53 lead with 7:40 to play.
Tied again at 58, Worrel Claharknocked down his first three of the game to put DePaul on top for good, 61-58, with 5:36 to play. The Blue Demon defense continued to clamp down the Cougars as time ran out, allowing just six points the rest of the way.
Next up for the Blue Demons will be a home matchup with Milwaukee on Sunday, December 9 at Allstate Arena. Tip is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.