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Blue Demons Pitch a Complete Game in 84-50 Victory Over Milwaukee
Senior guard Worrel Clahar finished with a career-high 10 assists and added eight rebounds.


Senior guard Worrel Clahar finished with a career-high 10 assists and added eight rebounds.

Dec. 9, 2012

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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.

Donnavan Kirk equaled his career high with 14 points while Brandon Young and a rejuvenated Jamee Crockett each contributed 13 points and Cleveland Melvin added 11.

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.

A Moses Morgan three-point play and a couple of Charles McKinney free throws increased the lead to 60-31. The Blue Demon pressure defense had Milwaukee (3-7) turning the ball over with regularity.

"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.

 Postgame Notes
• Today's game was the 11th meeting between the two schools. DePaul now holds the series lead, 11-1.
• Head coach Oliver Purnell improved to 3-1 in his career versus Milwaukee. The Blue Demons improved to 14-3 overall in the Purnell era when surpassing 80 points.
• DePaul improved to 105-36 all-time against the current Horizon League lineup.

DePaul Team Notes
• Key Runs: After falling behind 4-0 early, the Blue Demons responded with a 7-0 run covering 2:53 to reclaim the lead.
• Trailing 8-7, DePaul began to put distance between themselves and Milwaukee with a 14-0 run spanning 3:26 and resulting in a 21-8 DPU lead with 11:02 to go. The run eventually grew to a 23-4 stretch putting the Blue Demons up 30-12 with 7:10 to play before the break.
• DePaul extended its streak of consecutive games with a three-pointer to 588... Moses Morgan hit the Blue Demons first triple at the 14:28 mark in the first half... the last time the Blue Demons failed to hit from beyond the arc was Feb. 16, 1993 against UAB at Allstate Arena.
• With 45 first half points, DePaul equaled its third-best offensive half of the season. The Blue Demons' biggest outburst came in the first half of the first game of the season when DePaul deposited 58 points against UC Riverside on Nov. 9.
• DePaul held Milwaukee to a 25.8 percent mark from the field (16-of-62), the lowest number of any opponent this season. The Panthers also finished just 1-of-17 (5.9 percent) from beyond the arc.
• DePaul achieved its largest team lead of the season (41 points) with 5:28 remaining in the game when Peter Ryckbosch nailed a layup to put the Blue Demons on top 78-37.
• The Blue Demons finished with a season-high eight blocks. Cleveland Melvin had a season-high three rejections and passed Kevin Holmes (79) for 11th place all-time in his career. Melvin now has 82 career blocks.
• DePaul improved to 5-0 overall on the season when leading at halftime and is also undefeated when winning the rebounding battle.

DePaul Individual Notes
• Forward Cleveland Melvin reached double figures (11 points) for the 23rd consecutive game, but it equaled his lowest scoring output of the season (11 points vs. Wichita State on Nov. 20)
• Guard Brandon Young (13 points) finished in double figures for the 13th game in a row.
Worrel Clahar had a career-high 10 assists and finished just short of his first career double-double with eight rebounds. The senior guard posted 26 rebounds in the season's first seven games and has recorded 17 in his past two after a nine rebound performance at Chicago State last Wednesday.