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Blue Demons Close Out Regular-Season Road Circuit at Syracuse

March 5, 2013

Syracuse Gameday Article

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

CHICAGO - DePaul travels to Syracuse for its final road game of the regular season on Wednesday evening. The Blue Demons and Orange are scheduled for a 6 p.m. ET start at the Carrier Dome. DePaul concludes regular-season action on Saturday afternoon against Pittsburgh at Allstate Arena.

Wednesday’s game will be televised in Chicago on The U Too as part of the BIG EAST Network with Jason Benetti (play-by-play) and Bob Wenzel (analyst) handling the television duties. Benetti handled the play-by-play for the DePaul women’s basketball program during the 2005-06 season. 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 11-18 overall and 2-14 in the BIG EAST while Syracuse - ranked No. 17 in this week’s AP poll and No. 16 in the USA Today Coaches top 25 - holds a 22-7 overall record and 10-6 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. Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim is in his 37th season leading the Orange.

Following the Syracuse game, DePaul plays its final regular-season game at Allstate Arena on Saturday afternoon against No. 20/22 Pittsburgh. Start time against the Panthers is 1 p.m. with DePaul’s senior class being honored prior to the game. The 2013 BIG EAST Championship at Madison Square Garden runs from March 12-16.

Noting the Blue Demons: The men’s basketball program is 1,395-898 (.608) all-time... the Blue Demons have knocked down at least one three-pointer in 608 straight games... DePaul’s last game without a three was Feb. 16, 1993 against UAB at Allstate Arena... the Blue Demons are 317-150 (.679) 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... DePaul played back-to-back overtime games on Jan. 30 at St. John’s and Feb. 2 against Notre Dame for the first time since the 1987-88 season... DePaul has never played three straight overtime games.

The Opponent - Syracuse Orange: Syracuse enters Wednesday’s game at 22-7 overall and 10-6 in BIG EAST play... Syracuse has dropped three straight games including a 58-53 loss against No. 10/9 Louisville on Saturday... the Orange is ranked No. 17 in this week’s AP poll and No. 16 in the USA Today Coaches top 25... C.J. Fair leads four players in double-figures with 14.6 points per game... he is followed by Brandon Triche (14.2 ppg), James Southerland (13.8 pgg) and Michael Carter-Williams (12.5 ppg)... Fair also leads the team with 7.3 rebounds per game while Carter-Williams has 228 assists... head coach Jim Boeheim is in his 37th season leading the Syracuse program... DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell is 1-2 all-time (0-2 at DePaul) against the Orange.

The Series: Wednesday is the 14th meeting between the two programs... Syracuse leads the series by a 9-4 margin... Syracuse has won the last six meetings... a year ago, the top-ranked Orange defeated DePaul, 87-68, at Allstate Arena on New Year’s Day... on March 2, 2006, DePaul handed Syracuse its worst BIG EAST loss ever by a score of 108-69 at Allstate Arena.

The Last Meeting: DePaul hosted a No. 1-ranked opponent at Allstate Arena for the first time in an 87-68 loss on Jan. 1, 2012 to Syracuse... the Blue Demons trailed 45-26 at halftime and never got closer than 16 points in the second half... Cleveland Melvin led the Blue Demons with 23 points and eight rebounds... Donnavan Kirk added 14 points... Kris Joseph had 22 points and seven rebounds for the Orange while C.J. Fair added 16 points... after the Blue Demons closed to within 19-15 in the first half, Syracuse went on a 14-3 run for a 33-18 advantage... DePaul shot just .167 (3-18) from three-point range and .403 (25-62) overall...  Syracuse was a combined 34-58 (.586) from the field.

It Could Happen: Cleveland Melvin (98 blocks) needs two blocked shots to become the ninth player in program history with 100 career rejections... Brandon Young (1,329 pts.) enters the Syracuse game tied with Draelon Burns (2004-08) for 20th on DePaul’s all-time scoring list... with six points, Young passes Terence Greene (1,334 pts., 1985-89) for 19th place... Young (395 assists) needs two assists to pass Sammy Mejia (396 assists, 2003-07) for sixth all-time... with five assists, Young becomes the sixth player in program history with 400 assists... with three three-pointers, Young becomes the 17th player in program history with 100 career three-pointers... a win would be No. 425 as a head coach for Oliver Purnell... a win also ends a 42-game losing streak against ranked opponents (41 vs. AP-ranked opponents)... DePaul’ last win over a ranked-team was an 84-76 victory over No. 17/16 Villanova on Jan. 3, 2008 at Allstate Arena.

Demon Doings: Notes following DePaul’s 83-73 loss at USF on March 3:
- DePaul leads the series, 15-12... the Bulls have won eight straight games.
- Cleveland Melvin became the 13th player in program history with 1,400 career points... he finished the game with 1,406 points and moved from 15th to 13th on DePaul’s all-time scoring list.
- Brandon Young moved into a tie for 20th place on DePaul’s all-time scoring list.
- DePaul shot a season-high .528 from the field... it was the highest field goal percentage since shooting .537 against Seton Hall on March 3, 2012.

Fun With Numbers: DePaul has scored the same amount of points in back-to-back games on three separate occasions this season (69 vs. Northern Illinois and UMBC, 71 vs. Notre Dame and Villanova, 78 vs. Marquette and Notre Dame)... with 133 assists this season, Brandon Young is the first player since Rod Strickland (1985-88) with at least 100 assists in three straight seasons... for the second straight season, two players have totaled at least 100 assists... in addition to Young’s 133 assists, Worrel Clahar has 101 assists... DePaul has combined to shoot at least .900 from the free throw line in two games this season (minimum 10 attempts)... it is the first time since the 1999-00 campaign with at least two games (minimum 10 attempts) with a .900 or better... DePaul’s .900 (18-20) mark at St. John’s on Jan. 30 was the highest team free throw percentage since going 13-for-13 against Minnesota on Nov. 24, 2011 at the Old Spice Classic... the Blue Demons bettered that mark at Marquette on Feb. 9 with a free throw percentage of .917 (11-12)... St. John’s is the only team to defeat DePaul this season when shooting less than 40 percent... the Blue Demons are 5-1 when holding opponents under .400 from the field... the Blue Demons are 8-1 when leading at halftime with the lone loss against Connecticut on Feb. 23... DePaul is 2-0 this season on Friday... the .277 (18-65) field goal percentage at Pittsburgh on Jan. 26 was the lowest team field goal percentage since a .241 (14-58) mark at Northwestern on Dec. 6, 2008... 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.

4 Down to 1?: With three more three-pointers, junior guard Brandon Young joins a short list of players in DePaul history with at least 1,200 points, 300 assists and 100 three-pointers. Young enters the Syracuse game with 1,329 points, 395 assists and 97 three-pointers. Joining him on the short list are Brandon Cole, Tom Kleinschmidt and Sammy Mejia (pronounced mah-he-ya).

With the three three-pointers and five assists over the remainder of the 2012-13 season, Young will become the only player in program history with at least 1,200 points, 400 assists and 100 three-pointers. The Baltimore native is averaging 4.59 assists over 29 games this season.

Who’s Next: The Blue Demons conclude the regular-season schedule on Saturday afternoon against No. 20/22 Pittsburgh... start time is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Allstate Arena... the Panthers are 23-7 overall and 11-6 in BIG EAST play... Pittsburgh on the first meeting of the season with a 93-55 decision on Jan. 26 at the Petersen Events Center... the Panthers have won eight of the 10 all-time meeting between the two programs... DePaul knocked off Pittsburgh, 84-81, on Jan. 5, 2012 in the last game at Allstate Arena.