DePaul Rallies in 2nd Half to Take Down CSU
The Blue Demons came back by turning up the intensity on defense in the second half and holding Chicago State (2-8) to just five field goals in the half.
11 and a half minutes into the second half and the Blue Demons had erased that 14 point deficit.
"Chicago State was poised in the first half, and we weren't alert enough to guard them. Then a little frustration set in at the end of the first half," said DePaul coach Oliver Purnell. "Clearly I was pleased when our the team responded in the second half."
"(At halftime) Coach said ‘we're not playing DePaul basketball. We're not getting stops on D, we're not communicating'," said junior guard Brandon Young. "Which we weren't. we weren't running the floor like we usually do. We turned it up in the second half and came out with the win."
Despite being down at halftime, DePaul showed a lot of resolve and came out of the locker room fired up for the second half.
"Being a seasoned and veteran team like they are, they never once panicked." CSU coach Tracy Dildy said of the Blue Demons. "They never put their heads down. They really got into our guards in the second half."
Young led all scorers with 21 points and dished out six assists. Melvin recorded a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Sophomore Jamee Crockett returned to the court after missing the last four games with a sprained right knee. Crockett showed no signs of the injury and scored seven points and corralled three rebounds.
DePaul senior guard Worrell Clahar was a difference maker tonight. Clahar was a big contributor off the bench for the Blue Demons in the second half. Clahar finished with 11 points, a career-high nine rebounds, and four assists.
"He's a tough kid," Purnell said of Clahar. "He gave us some offense for the second straight game. He had a big shot at the end of the game against the zone."
The Blue Demons return to Allstate Arena on Sunday afternoon to face the Milwaukee Panthers.
- Earlier today Chicago State announced that they are moving to the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) beginning next season.
- "It's going to help with recruiting," said CSU coach Tracy Dildy. "Now we can offer the same thing as other schools. Since I've been here, we've been hit with that not having that automatic bid. That's just killed us in recruiting."
- CSU coach Tracy Dildy said that he plans on continuing the series with DePaul.
• DePaul now leads the all-time series against Chicago State 11-0 and is 16-0 against current members of the Great West Conference.
• The Blue Demons have now won eight straight against Chicagoland programs, including Chicago State, NIU, Loyola and UIC.
• DePaul extended its streak of consecutive games with a three-pointer to 587... Cleveland Melvin hit the Blue Demons first triple at the 15:56 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.
• The Blue Demons out-rebounded the Cougars 48-30, their largest rebounding advantage of the season. DePaul improved to 4-0 when winning the rebounding battle.
• DePaul committed a season-high 21 turnovers.
• Forward Cleveland Melvin finished in double figures for the 56th time in 66 career games. He has scored in double figures in 22 straight games going back to the 2011-12 season.
• Young also finished in double figures for the 52nd time in his Blue Demon career. He has a current streak of 12 games in a row with 10 or more points. Young set a season-high with six assists.
• Jamee Crockett made his return to the floor at the 11:58 mark of the first half. The sophomore had missed the past four games with an injury and finished with seven points and three rebounds in 15 minutes of action.
• Worrel Clahar posted a career-high nine rebounds and tied a season-high with 11 points.
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