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DePaul Travels to Pittsburgh on Saturday

Jan. 25, 2013

Pittsburgh Gameday Article Away

Game Notes: DePaul Get Acrobat Reader | Pittsburgh Get Acrobat Reader
TV: The U Too (WCIU-DT2) | Radio: WSCR 670 AM
Online Video: ESPN3 | Online Audio: BlueTube

CHICAGO - DePaul makes its first trip to Pittsburgh since Dec. 2009 on Saturday for a 4 p.m. ET game against the Panthers. The Blue Demons are looking to win two straight against the Panthers following an 84-81 win at Allstate Arena last season.

The game will be televised in Chicago on The U Too (WCIU-DT2) as part of the BIG EAST Network with John Sanders (play-by-play) and John Celestand (analyst) handling the television duties. The broadcast is also available online at ESPN3. DePaul's radio tandem of Zach Zaidman (play-by-play) and Jeff Blanzy (analyst) can be heard on WSCR 670 AM, on BlueTube at www.depaulbluedemons.com and on DePaul's mobile app. Live stats can be found on GameTracker at www.depaulbluedemons.com while in-game scoring updates and notes can be followed at www.twitter.com/depaulsid.

DePaul stands at 10-8 overall and 1-4 in the BIG EAST while Pittsburgh holds a 16-4 overall record and 4-3 mark in league play. DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell is in his third season at DePaul and his 25th as a head coach at the collegiate level. Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon is in his 10th season leading the Panthers.

Following the Pittsburgh game, DePaul travels to St. John's on Wednesday, Jan. 30 for a 9 p.m. ET game against the Red Storm. The game can be seen on ESPNU and heard on WSCR 670 AM. St. John's won the first meeting this season on Jan. 19 by a score of 71-62 at Allstate Arena.

Noting the Blue Demons: The men's basketball program is 1,394-888 (.611) all-time... the Blue Demons have knocked down at least one three-pointer in 597 straight games... DePaul's last game without a three was Feb. 16, 1993 against UAB at Allstate Arena... the Blue Demons are 316-146 (.684) all-time at Allstate Arena... DePaul is 7-1 (.875) all-time in games at McGrath-Phillips Arena... in each of Oliver Purnell's three seasons at DePaul, the Blue Demons have faced three Chicagoland opponents during the non-conference portion of the schedule with an 8-1 record in those games... in the Purnell era, the Blue Demons are 15-3 (6-0 in 2012-13) when scoring 80 or more points... DePaul has used seven different starting lineups this season... Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young have started every game this season... DePaul is scheduled to have at least 27 games televised during the 2012-13 season.... on 12/12/12, No. 12 Cleveland Melvin scored 12 points at Arizona State... a year earlier on 11/11/11, No. 11 Jeremiah Kelly scored 11 points against UT-Pan American.

The Opponent - Pittsburgh Panthers: Pittsburgh enters Saturday's game at 16-4 overall and 4-3 in BIG EAST play... the Panthers are receiving votes in both polls this week... Pittsburgh has won three straight and four of its last five... the Panthers posted a 68-64 win at Providence on Tuesday night... Talib Zanna leads the team with 11.7 points per game... he is followed by Tray Woodall's 10.7 points per game and Lamar Patterson's scoring average of 10.0... Steven Adams adds 6.7 points per game and a team-high 5.9 rebounds per outing... head coach Jamie Dixon is in his 10th season leading the Pittsburgh program... DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell is 1-1 all-time against the Panthers.

The Series: Saturday is the 10th meeting between the two programs... Pittsburgh holds a 7-2 advantage in the series... DePaul posted a win in the last meeting to snap a seven-game losing streak against Pittsburgh... Saturday's visit is the first trip to the Petersen Events Center since a 65-52 loss on Dec. 28, 2009... all players on DePaul's 2012-13 roster are playing their first game at Pittsburgh... Pittsburgh makes the return trip to DePaul on March 9.

The Last Meeting: Brandon Young scored 26 points to lead DePaul to an 84-81 win on Jan. 5, 2012 at Allstate Arena... the Blue Demons trailed 81-77 with 17.2 seconds left... Young scored all seven points in the comeback with a layup, a three-point play and two free throws... Cleveland Melvin added 20 points and six rebounds... Young added six assists, five steals and four rebounds... Talib Zanna led five Pittsburgh players in double-figures with 16 points... the Panthers outrebounded DePaul by a 50-32 margin... DePaul went 10-for-22 (.455) from three-point range.

It Could Happen: A win snaps a season-high three-game losing streak... with 20 points, Cleveland Melvin (1,244 pts.) passes Joe Ponsetto (23rd place, 1,256 pts., 1974-78), Brandon Cole (24th place, 1,262 pts., 1991-95) and Bobby Simmons (21st place, 1,263 pts., 1998-01) on DePaul's all-time scoring list... with five points, Brandon Young (1,143 pts.) passes Andre Brown (34th place, 1,146 pts., 2000-04) and Quentin Richardson (33rd place, 1,147 pts., 1998-00) for 33rd all-time at DePaul... with three three-pointers, Moses Morgan becomes the 16th player in program history with 100 career three-pointers... Donnavan Kirk needs three blocked shots to pass Quemont Greer (64 blocks, 2001-05) and Stephen Howard (1998-92) for 17th all-time.

Demon Doings: Notes following DePaul's 71-62 loss against St. John's on Jan. 19:
- St. John's leads the all-time series by a 16-14 margin... the Red Storm has won seven straight games in the series.
- DePaul lost for just the second time this season when outrebounding an opponent... the Blue Demons are 7-2 in 2012-13 when collecting more rebounds than the opponent.
- A three-pointer by Moses Morgan in the first half extended DePaul's streak to 597 straight games with a three.
- Brandon Young set a new career high in rebounds with 10 boards... previous career best was six rebounds on four occasions.
- Cleveland Melvin moved into 24th place on DePaul's all-time scoring list... he entered the game needing six points to pass Joey Meyer (1968-71, 1,233 pts.)... Melvin also grabbed his 500th career rebound.

Almost But Not Quite: With the exception of the 99-78 loss at Connecticut on Jan. 5, DePaul's conference losses have been decided on just a few possessions.
- The 73-72 loss on Jan. 2 against Seton Hall saw the Blue Demons either tied or holding a lead over the final 9:50 of the game with the exception of the last seven seconds with Seton Hall's game-winning basket.
- The 75-70 loss on Jan. 15 against Cincinnati saw the Blue Demons down by 13 points with 3:57 left in the game. Cleveland Melvin's basket with seven seconds left cut the deficit to three points before two free throws by Sean Kilpatrick sealed the win for the Bearcats.
- The 71-62 loss on Jan. 19 against St. John's saw the Blue Demons cut a 17-point deficit with 7:36 left to just three points with 2:24 on the clock. However, the Red Storm scored the final six points of the game for the nine-point margin.

Roadies: DePaul's 4-0 start in true road games (wins at Auburn, Chicago State, Arizona State and Providence) was the best road beginning since a 5-0 road record to start the 1993-94 season... the four straight road wins marked the longest away streak since a five-game road winning streak in January 2004... including the trip to Cancun for a pair of neutral-site games, the Blue Demons traveled 10,820 miles during the non-conference portion of the season for games at Cancun, Auburn, Chicago State and Arizona State.

Blue Demons in the NCAA & BIG EAST Stat Rankings: Through games of Jan. 20, DePaul is 16th in the NCAA rankings with an average of 9.6 steals per game, 42nd with a turnover margin of +2.9 and 48th with a scoring average of 74.2 points per game. Through games of Jan. 23, the Blue Demons are third in steals (9.56 spg) and scoring (74.2 ppg) and fifth in turnover margin (+2.94) among the 15 BIG EAST programs.

Individually, Cleveland Melvin is ranked among national leaders in scoring, field goal percentage, rebounding, steals and double-doubles while Brandon Young is ranked in scoring, field goal percentage, assists and steals. Worrel Clahar is among leaders in assist-to-turnover ratio and Donnavan Kirk is among the top shot blockers.

In the BIG EAST rankings through games of Jan. 23, Cleveland Melvin is the league's only player ranked among the top 10 in scoring and rebounding. Melvin is fifth in both categories with Georgetown's Otto Porter as the next-closest player at fourth in rebounding and 12th in scoring. Complete individual player rankings in the BIG EAST and NCAA are on each player's page in the game notes.

Who's Next: The Blue Demons travel to St. John's on Wednesday, Jan. 30 for a 9 p.m. ET game... the Red Storm is 12-7 overall and 4-3 in the BIG EAST entering Sunday's game against Seton Hall... the meeting is the second in 12 days between the two teams... St. John's posted a 71-62 win over DePaul on Jan. 19 at Allstate Arena... the Red Storm leads the all-time series, 16-14... St. John's has won seven straight against DePaul.