Gardner-Webb Upsets DePaul

The Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs came into Allstate Arena on Thursday night and walked away with a 71-59 upset of DePaul in the first game of the Cancun Challenge.

It was the kind of night where nothing went right for DePaul (1-1).

The Blue Demons were manhandled on the boards and were outrebounded by a 44-31 margin. To add to their woes, DePaul shot two for 13 from beyond the arc in the contest.

"We played poorly as a team from the start," said junior forward Cleveland Melvin. "We just didn't have any energy and we weren't rebounding. We just had a poor game. We can't have this ever again."

Gardner-Webb (1-2) played poised against the DePaul press and refused to be rattled tonight. The Runnin' Bulldogs were led by 20 points from guard Max Landis. Kevin Hartley contributed with 16 points and Donta Harper added 13 points.

"I don't want to take anything away from (Gardner-Webb)," said DePaul coach Oliver Purnell. "Clearly we didn't show up tonight. The bottom line is no matter what the circumstances are we have to be mentally tough enough to show up. Even if a team gets off to a really good start against you or whatever. You've got to bear down and get the job done."

Melvin led DePaul with 18 points and eight rebounds. Junior guard Brandon Young added 10 points.

DePaul trailed early and went into the locker room at halftime down 10 points and just couldn't get anything going in the second half.

"We never sustained any level of consistency offensively, defensively in the halfcourt, or defensively with our pressure," said Purnell. "We need to play extremely hard as a team. We need to be a fast, quick team. I don't think any of those things were there tonight."

The Blue Demons will face Austin Peay in the second game of the Cancun Challenge at Allstate Arena on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.

Before that game, the Blue Demons will need to regroup and take an assessment of themselves.

"We have to look in the mirror and say ‘is that okay?'," said Purnell. "I think you look in the mirror and say ‘that's not okay, that's embarrassing, that's not us'".

Box Score

Notes:

- DePaul extended its streak of consecutive games with a three-pointer to 581... the Blue Demons didn't make their first three until just under 13 minutes left in the second half... the last time the Blue Demons failed to hit from beyond the arc was Feb. 16, 1993 against UAB at Allstate Arena.

- Cleveland Melvin finished in double-figures for the 50th time in 60 career games... he has scored in double figures in 16 straight games going back to the 2011-12 season.

- Brandon Young scored 10 points to reach double-figures for the 46th time in his Blue Demon career.

- DePaul was held under 60 points for the first time since February 15, 2012 at Connecticut... the last time the Blue Demons failed to reach 60 points in a non-conference game was December 8, 2010 against Indiana State.

- Former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was in the crowd for tonight's game.


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