DePaul Comeback Falls Short

The Blue Demons couldn't quite climb past the Mountaineers in a 67-65 loss where DePaul's late game rally came up short.

DePaul (6-9, 0-3) trailed West Virginia (9-4, 1-2) by as many as 14 points with 10:08 to go in the second half and mustered quite a comeback.

The Blue Demons were within striking distance with the Mountaineers leading 66-65, when Brandon Young's pullup jumper from 17 feet bounced off the front of the rim with three seconds left.

"I thought it looked good," said Young. "It felt good, but it just didn't go in."

DePaul scored 22 points off of 16 WVU turnovers. Their full court press has a way of wearing teams down at the end of games.

"I thought our style really started to take its toll on West Virginia down the stretch," said DePaul coach Oliver Purnell. "I thought they were really tired. Obviously we started to turn them over which enabled us to get some easy scores."

"We knew if we kept putting pressure on, we'd get back in the game," added junior guard Jeremiah Kelly.

"We just made dumb plays," West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said of losing the 14 point lead.

Casey Mitchell led all scorers with 18 points and was three of seven from beyond the arc for WVU.

Deniz Kilicli contributed with 14 points and Kevin Jones added 13 for West Virginia.

Freshman forward Cleveland Melvin led the way for DePaul with 17 points and was seven of 12 from the floor.

"He's undersized, he's so quick off his feet," Huggins said of Melvin. "He gets shots off because I think he elevates faster than what you expect him to. I think he's got a terrific second jump."

Freshman guard Brandon Young added 12 points and junior big man Krys Faber chipped in with 10 points.

Senior guard Jimmy Drew started his first game as a Blue Demon in place of Mike Stovall and led DePaul in rebounding with six boards. Purnell looked to get a spark at the start of the game by starting Drew.

"I wasn't happy with the starts we were getting," said Purnell. "We were looking for a way to shake things up to maybe get a better start."

After struggling earlier in the season, freshman guard Moses Morgan scored his first two three-point baskets as a Blue Demon to contribute with six points off the bench.

"I hope it gives him some confidence," said Purnell. "He's a young player, he's a freshman, I'm sure that was on his mind. Often times a player gets a couple shots to go down and it does loads for his confidence."

DePaul has had some solid efforts lately, but has to find a way to turn morale victories into actual Big East victories. The Blue Demons have an eight day layoff before Seton Hall comes to town.

Junior guard Jeremiah Kelly, who scored nine points in the contest, believes they will come out on top in that one.

"The next one," said Kelly. "We've got to get the next one."

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