DePaul Tackles Seton Hall in BIG EAST Opener
Dec. 27, 2017

Seton Hall at RV/RV DePaul
Thursday, Dec. 28 | 7:00 p.m. (CT)
McGrath-Phillips Arena | Chicago, Ill.
Live Stats: Gametracker
Game Notes: DePaul |Seton Hall
Buy Tickets: Online Ticket Office


CHICAGO – The battle for the BIG EAST begins Thursday when the Blue Demons take on talented Seton Hall in the conference opener with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m. at McGrath-Phillips Arena.

It marks the beginning of DePaul's quest to capture its fifth consecutive BIG EAST regular-season title.

This matchup pitting two of the league’s best teams will unveil perhaps the deepest conference field since just prior to the BIG EAST realignment in 2013-14.

Every team will enter the conference season with a .500 record or better against nonconference competition. The league’s composite nonconference record is a sparkling 72-38 (.655), the best since 2012-13. The 72 wins are the most since realignment.


 

 

No. 18/18 Villanova (10-0) knocked off No. 14/15 Duke and DePaul topped then No. 22/21 Oklahoma.

In addition, DePaul lost a closely contested road matchup with No. 2/2 Notre Dame while Marquette took the Fighting Irish into overtime before coming up short. Marquette lost by two points in overtime to No. 7/7 Tennessee and Creighton stayed right with No. 11/12 UCLA.

Based on nonconference results, it appears that every conference game is going to be hotly disputed. Villanova, Seton Hall (8-3), DePaul and Butler (both 8-4), St. John’s and Xavier (both 7-4), Creighton (6-4) and defending champion Marquette (6-5) enter the league season looking to contend for a title.

According to the NCAA ratings, the BIG EAST was ranked as high as the fourth-best conference in the country last week.

The Blue Demons enter league play as the nation’s No. 1 team in three-pointers per game and No. 2 in three-point baskets and attempts. They are No. 4 in assists, No. 5 in assist-turnover ratio and No. 6 in scoring offense and assists per game. DePaul is ninth in turnover margin and No. 17 in steals.

Kelly Campbell is No. 7 in the country in assist-turnover ratio and No. 27 in free throw percentage while Ashton Millender is No. 28 in three-pointers.

They lead the BIG EAST in seven categories including scoring offense, assists, three-pointers and assist-turnover ratio. Campbell is tops in assist-turnover ratio and fellow sophomore Chante Stonewall leads the league in three-point percentage.

The Blue Demons have forced 258 turnovers this season for an average of 21.5 per game.

Seton Hall is coming off an 80-61 win over Fairfield just before its Christmas break. JaQuan Jackson led the Pirates with 28 points on 11-of-13 shooting that included 5-of-6 from deep.

Temple transfer and graduate student Donnaizha Fountain leads the team with 14.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Jackson is averaging nearly 13 points per game while shooting 95.5 percent from the free throw line.

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