Kelly's Hot Hand Leads DePaul to Second Win

Jeremiah Kelly led the Blue Demons to a 80-70 victory over Mississippi Valley State with six three-pointers at McGrath-Phillips Arena on Monday night.

Jeremiah Kelly was the man with the hot hand tonight for DePaul (2-0). At one point in the first half, the Blue Demon senior guard drained five straight three point shots. Kelly led all scorers with 24 points, dished out five assists and picked up three steals. He shot six of 12 from behind the arc.

"(Kelly's) offense in the first half in particular, obviously was big," said DePaul coach Oliver Purnell. "He gave us offense off of our set offense."

Four Blue Demons finished in double-figures. Sophomore guard Brandon Young scored 19 points and also handed out five assists. Cleveland Melvin scored 16 points and corralled eight rebounds. Freshman Charles McKinney finished in double-figures for the second straight game, scoring 10 points off the bench, while going two of three on trifectas.

"(McKinney) was great," said Purnell "He gives us a defensive lift. He changes the game when he's in there. He came up with a couple of big steals at the end, or deflections, or whatever. I thought he played well. He took a couple of wide open threes early, stepping in and knocked them down. I thought he played real well."

Overall, the Blue Demons shot 41.7% from three point range and scored 10 or more threes for the second straight game. On the other end, DePaul held MVSU to 14.3% from beyond the arc.

One aspect where DePaul struggled tonight was on the boards. The Blue Demons were outrebounded by a 40-34 margin.

"We've got to work on rebuilding the ball better," Purnell said.

McKinney agreed.

"In the future, we need to work on gang rebounding as a team," said Charles.

To aid in the rebounding department, DePaul will have 6-9 big man Donnavan Kirk, who transferred from Miami, eligible for their next game.

Mississippi Valley State (0-2) finished with five players in double-figures. Center Paul Crosby led the Delta Devils with 13 points. Cor-J Cox and Amos Studivant contributed with 12 points apiece. Falando Jones added 11 points and Kevin Burwell chipped in with 10.

The Blue Demons will now focus on their Final Exams and will have off until Thanksgiving Day where they will face the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the first game of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Florida.

Box Score

Notes:

- DePaul hit at least 10 three's in back-to-back games for the first time since the 2007-08 season.

- Jeremiah Kelly recorded his third career game of 20 or more points... dating back to last season he has three 20-point games over his last nine contests.

- Kelly's six three's were one short of his career high... the total is tied for seventh (11th time) on DePaul's game list... Kelly's career-high of seven is tied for second and was set against Villanova last season on Feb. 19.


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