Cuse Rings in New Year Strong Over DePaul

The Syracuse Orange showed why they are the number one ranked team in the nation in a 87-68 win over DePaul at Allstate Arena tonight.

Syracuse (15-0, 2-0) outmatched and outclassed DePaul (9-4, 0-1) in many facets of the game to ring in the New Year.

"We faced tonight clearly a superior basketball team in Syracuse particularly on the defensive end of the floor," said DePaul coach Oliver Purnell.

DePaul struggled from the floor against the Syracuse zone. The Blue Demons shot a paltry 16.7% from beyond the arc.

"They're a much better team," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said of the Blue Demons. "Our zone gives them trouble because they don't shoot as well from the perimeter. It takes time to get back. You can't do it in a year or two. It takes three or four years at least to compete in this league."

Syracuse came in with a game plan to limit DePaul point guard Brandon Young and it worked. The Orange held Young scoreless although Brandon was able to dish out eight assists.

"They made a decision that they were going to shade him and they did a good job with it," said Purnell. "I think he maybe got only two open looks all night."

Syracuse held the edge on the glass by a 35-32 margin, but dominated 18-8 on the boards in the first half over DePaul.

Four players finished in double-figures for the Orange. Kris Joseph led the way with 22 points on seven of 15 shooting from the floor.

C.J Fair and Dion Waiters came in off the bench to contribute 16 and 13 points respectively.

Sophomore big man Fab Melo blocked six shots and scored 12 points. Melo was an impressive interior presence for the Orange.

"I've seen the Syracuse zone for many years," said Purnell "This may be the best one that I've seen. A lot of that has to do with their shot blocker in the middle Melo. He cleans up things. If they make a mistake, he erases it."

DePaul sophomore forward Cleveland Melvin led all scorers with 23 points and eight rebounds.

Donnavan Kirk, who is recovering from a back injury, has been improving with each game. Kirk scored 14 points off the bench to go along with three rebounds and one block.

"More progression," Purnell said of Kirk. "He gave us a physical presence. That's the guy we thought we were getting around Thanksgiving. So hopefully he's ready to go now."

DePaul returns to Allstate Arena on Thursday night for another Big East clash with Pittsburgh.

Box Score

Notes:

- Simeon forward Jabari Parker, Scout.com's top-ranked prospect in the class of 2013, was in the house for tonight's game along with a number of recruits.


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