Melvin Leads DePaul Past UMBC

DePaul's Cleveland Melvin played the Grinch to UMBC's Christmas wishes as the Blue Demons defeated the Retrievers 69-61 at Allstate Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Melvin led DePaul (9-3) with 24 points, 14 of which came in the second half, and eight rebounds.

The Blue Demons have now won seven straight games for the first time since the 1993-94 season.

DePaul prevailed despite being stymied by the zone defense that the Retrievers brought forth.

"They played a pretty effective zone for a lot of the game," said DePaul coach Oliver Purnell. "It's kind of an amoeba zone. It's not really a 1-2-2 or a 1-3-1. It kinds of morphs. It's an unusual zone. We weren't patient enough and that set the tone for the night. We were constantly screaming for our guys to get the ball inside. We did that in the second half. I thought it paid dividends once we were able to get the ball inside."

The zone has been a point of difficulty for the Blue Demons of late.

"We weren't really executing and moving the ball around a lot against that zone they were playing," said Melvin. "We have to learn to do a better job of rebounding, moving the ball around, executing and making good plays on offense."

It was a sloppy afternoon where both teams turned the ball over way too much. UMBC had 20 turnovers while DePaul turned it over 18 times.

DePaul sophomore Jamee Crockett added 11 points, while senior guard Worrell Clahar contributed with 10 points and five assists off the bench.

UMBC (2-10) was led by three players in double-figures. Aaron Morgan led the way with 15 points. Ryan Cook added 13 and Brian Neller scored 12 points for the Retrievers.

The Blue Demons have a week off for the Christmas Holiday before they return to Allstate Arena next Saturday to meet crosstown rival Loyola.

Box Score

Notes:

Team Records and Series Notes:

• DePaul improves to 9-3 overall on the season... UMBC falls to 2-10.

• The game was the first meeting between the two programs.

• DePaul improved to 12-0 all-time against the current America East Conference lineup.

DePaul Team Notes:

• DePaul extended its win streak to seven straight... it is the longest streak since a nine-game run from Dec. 7, 1993-Jan. 8, 1994.

• The Blue Demons improved to 6-1 at home this season... a year ago, DePaul won seven home games in the entire season.

• DePaul's consecutive free throw steak ended at 11 in-a-row.

DePaul Individual Notes:

Cleveland Melvin reached double-figures for the 26th straight game... playing in his 70th career game Saturday, he has scored at least 10 points in 60 career games.

• Melvin passed Jim Murphy (1962-65) and moved into 34th place on DePaul's all-time scoring chart.

Brandon Young's 83rd career three-pointer at end of the first half moved him into a tie for 18th on the three-point field goal list with Quemont Greer (2001-05) and Terry Davis (1989-93).

• Jamee Crockett scored in double-figures for the third time in the last four games.


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