DePaul vs. Loyola Game Preview

The Blue Demons host their crosstown rivals from Loyola at Allstate Arena on Saturday Afternoon.

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DePaul Blue Demons (9-3) vs. Loyola (8-3) – Saturday, December 29th, 1:00 p.m. Central – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois

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Game Preview

DePaul hopes to keep their seven game winning streak alive on Saturday afternoon and with a win over Loyola will end up going undefeated for the month of December.

That would be quite an achievement, the Blue Demons haven't been undefeated for the month of December since 1986.

Loyola is an improved team over last season. The Rambers took apart a Mississippi State Bulldogs team a few weeks ago and played Michigan State close on the road in East Lansing.

Loyola has already surpassed last year's win total of seven.

For DePaul to win this one, the Blue Demons had better bring their best effort. With the start of conference play right around the corner, DePaul is going to have to prepare for this game like it is a Big East game.

Saturday's game also marks the latest chapter in the Cully Payne saga. Payne will no doubt be a storyline that will be repeated for this game. Saturday will be the first time that Payne will face the Blue Demons. Payne first verbally committed to former DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright in June of 2005. He was fresh out of eighth grade at the time. Three years later Payne decommitted from DePaul. He later backed out on a commitment from Alabama before eventually signing with Iowa in the spring of 2009. Two years later he transferred out of Iowa City and returned home to play for Loyola. Cully is currently averaging 7.1 ppg and 4.5 assists per game in his first season with the Ramblers.

Loyola is led by 6-8 senior forward Ben Averkamp. Averkamp is averaging 16.3 ppg and pulls down 6.8 rebounds per game.

While DePaul has owned the Ramblers for the last 23 years, the Red Line rivalry game is always a spirited matchup.

"I don't think there is any question that this will be a competitive game," DePaul coach Oliver Purnell told WSCR radio. "I've been very impressed watching Loyola play on tape. Averkamp didn't play great against us last year, but he is a heckuva player. He's having a whale of a season. He does so many things for them including lead. I'm impressed with their team. They are much improved over last year and their record speaks to that."

The Last Time

It was a tale of two halves as the Blue Demons prevailed in a 69-58 win on the road at city rival Loyola on December 7th, 2011. DePaul took Loyola behind the woodshed in the first half and brought a 47-17 lead into the locker room at intermission. It was the fewest points allowed by a DePaul team in a half since Oliver Purnell arrived in Lincoln Park.

DePaul never trailed in the contest. The Blue Demons shot 55.9% from the floor in the first half.

Even walkon Edwind McGhee got in on the act scoring four points off the bench for the Blue Demons.

The Blue Demons were firing on all cylinders in the first half.

The Ramblers then rallied in the second half.

The closest that Loyola was able to come was within nine points with 28.9 seconds left on a layup by Denzel Brito, but by then it was too late.

The Blue Demons had balanced scoring and had four players finish in double-figures. Moses Morgan led the way with 13 points off the bench. Krys Faber contributed 12 points. Jamee Crockett and Jeremiah Kelly chipped in with 11 apiece.

It was his Crockett's first collegiate start. Jamee brought energy on both offense and defense before fouling out late in the game.

Loyola's Walt Gibler led all scorers with 29 points. Freshman Joe Crisman added 14 points in the losing effort for the Ramblers.

Loyola Roster

No. Name Ht. Wt. Pos. Year Hometown/High School/Last College

24 Ben Averkamp 6-8 235 F SR Germantown, Wis./Germantown

44 Derrick Boone 6-3 180 G JR Minneapolis, Minn./Minneapolis South

45 Bill Clark 6-4 207 G JR Valparaiso, Ind./Mount Carmel/Indiana

5 Joe Crisman 6-4 195 G SO Munster, Ind./Munster

13 London Dokubo 6-0 165 G SO Schaumburg, Ill./Conant

35 Milton Doyle 6-4 170 G FR Chicago, Ill./Marshall/Kansas

2 Jordan Hicks 6-6 210 G/F RS SR Rochester, Minn./Rochester Mayo

33 Jeremy King 6-10 209 C FR Houston, Texas/St. Thomas

22 Matt O'Leary 6-8 210 F FR Terre Haute, Ind./Terre Haute North Vigo

25 Nick Osborne 6-8 220 F FR Muncie, Ind./Muncie Central

1 Cully Payne 6-1 180 G JR Schaumburg, Ill./Schaumburg/Iowa

32 Christian Thomas 6-5 207 G/F SO St. Louis, Mo./Clayton

4 Devon Turk 6-4 170 G FR Houston, Texas/Westbury Christian

23 Jeff White 6-1 160 G FR Peoria, Ill./Manual

0 Kody Williams 6-2 190 G JR Niceville, Fla./Niceville/Tallahassee CC

30 Tanner Williams 6-7 205 F FR Orion, Ill./Orion

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