Blue Demons Pitch a Complete Game in 84-50 Victory Over Milwaukee
Dec. 9, 2012
ROSEMONT, Ill. - The kind of basketball Oliver Purnell envisions for his program was on full display Sunday at Allstate Arena.
Playing its most complete game of the season, DePaul rolled past Milwaukee 84-50 behind a collaborative effort that extended across the entire spectrum of the team while winning its fourth in a row.
Making an equally big impact coming off the bench was 5-foot, 11-inch point guard Worrel Clahar who led the team in assists with a career-high 10, rebounds with eight and steals with four while scoring four points.
After a lackluster first half in last Wednesday's victory over Chicago State, the Blue Demons came out strong from the opening tip on Sunday.
"We came out more focused today and wanted to get the job done from the beginning," said Clahar as DePaul (6-3) went on an early 14-0 run. "We were moving the ball well and swinging it from side to side.
"It feels good to get a win like this. Milwaukee beat us here last year, so we got a little bit of payback."
How does a guy Clahar's size rank second on his team with 43 total rebounds?
"Rebounding is all about just wanting to get the ball, and it's not about size," Clahar said. "It's all about how bad do you want it."
Keeping up the pressure after jumping out to an 18-point halftime lead, DePaul opened the second half with a 10-2 run. That made it 55-29 with 15 minutes, 27 seconds left in the game.
"That was maybe our best overall effort all season," said DePaul coach Purnell. "We came out with a hard edge and grabbed the game by the throat.
"I liked the way we sprinted out at the end of the first half. We were business-like and defensive-minded. We played the game the right way with a lot of touches and drives."
In that early 14-0 run, Morgan had a pair of three-pointers, a steal and an assist while Melvin and Crockett scored four points each. That provided the home team with a 21-8 lead. A Young technical foul shot followed by two Melvin free throws and a Kirk baseline jumper upped the advantage to 30-12.
Milwaukee came back with an 11-4 spurt in closing to within 34-23. A 9-0 Blue Demon burst near the end of the first half led the way to a 45-27 lead going into halftime.
Looking his best since missing four games with a knee injury, Crockett had nine points and four rebounds in the first 20 minutes of play. Clahar came away with four points, five rebounds and six assists in the first half.
"Worrell has done a nice job of giving us that spark off the bench," Purnell said. "He made a big shot against Chicago State and a big shot against Auburn. He has distributed the ball well and gives us quickness and athleticism."
The DePaul defense limited a perimeter-oriented Panther ballclub to just 25.8 percent shooting and 1-for-17 from three-point range. Last year, two Milwaukee players combined to go 10-for-10 from beyond the arc.
"They are a jump-shooting team, and the key was really contesting their jump shots," Purnell said. "We're working at becoming a really good home team. We want to establish Allstate Arena as a tough place to play---and a tough place to win."
Speaking of tough, DePaul's next game is 8 p.m. Wednesday at Arizona State which has started the season 8-1.
DePaul Team Notes
DePaul Individual Notes