No. 24 Seton Hall efficiently punishes DePaul

From the onset of the game, 24th ranked Seton Hall (15-2, 4-1) came with their best knockout punch and took it to the lifeless Blue Demons right away, easily disposing DePaul (10-6, 1-3) 94-73 on Tuesday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Sparked by Fuquan Edwin's 24 first-half points (including three of four on three-pointers), the Pirates came out roaring and raced out to a demonstrative 51-24 halftime lead.

The opening of the second half was not much better for DePaul as Seton Hall again went into attack mode and took a 24-point lead on a Aaron Cosby three-pointer with 15:36 to go in the game. From there, though, DePaul ratcheted up their flailing defense and got back in the game with stifling pressure defense, trimming Seton Hall's lead to 68-59 with 7:59 to go after two Cleveland Melvin free throws.

Seton Hall would then lean on their veteran point guard Jordan Theodore to put any thoughts of a DePaul rally on ice as he drilled three crucial buckets during a 7-2 run for the Pirates, putting the Pirates back up 75-61 with six minutes to go. An Edwin three-pointer two minutes later was the final exclamation point, as the Pirates regained control of the game 82-63 and put away the Demons for good.

"We started poorly," said DePaul coach Oliver Purnell. "Theodore played great and he is a heckuva player. We had no answer for him and we got ourselves into too big a hole."

Just like the Villanova game where the Demons found themselves in a 10-0 hole, the Demons did no better on this night as Seton Hall dominated from the start opening up a 10-2 lead.

"You dig yourself a hole to a Top 25 team on the road plus 20, it's hard to climb back in it," Purnell said. "We did (eventually), but sooner or later (it's going to catch up to you.)"

Seton Hall did a good job of playing smart, deliberate basketball while taking good shots. In fact, the Pirates shot a blistering 58.7 percent from the field, including 52 percent from three-point range, whereas DePaul struggled again, hitting only 34.3 percent of their shots and a miserable 25 percent from three-point range.

Seton Hall got outstanding contributions from its three main contributors in Theodore, Edwin and Herb Pope. Edwin led the way with a career high 28 points on a staggering 10-14 shooting from the field. Meanwhile Theodore wasn't far behind with 26 points and a team-high 11 assists. Lastly, Pope had another double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.

DePaul was led by Brandon Young's 16 points.

Young was none too happy about the loss, though, and knows there are things to work on.

"We didn't come out and play hard," Young said, while explaining why DePaul only plays well in spurts. "We should play hard for 40 minutes. When we play our 40 minutes we're a much better team. We're going to get back in the gym, keep working and (prepare for our next opponent)."

DePaul also got double-digit scoring outputs from Cleveland Melvin (14) and Worrell Clahar (a career-high 14 points).

Clahar, who made a homecoming of sorts (from Brooklyn) on Tuesday, was happy to be back in town with some of his family and friends. However, like Young, he was more worried about the lack of putting together 40 good minutes of basketball.

"We could have played harder collectively," Clahar said. "We came out and gave them the edge like we did at Villanova. We just got to be more focused and ready to go and turn up the energy from the beginning. We can't play from behind, which we tend to do a lot. We need to jump on teams earlier and let them know we're here and we came to play."

Now the Demons will have a face a reeling Louisville team on the road on Saturday. On Tuesday night, Louisville lost at Providence 90-59.


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