Undermanned Demons Lose at Seton Hall

In a game where DePaul was severely undermanned, playing without Cleveland Melvin (suspension), Billy Garrett Jr. (last-minute illness) and Charles McKinney (ankle injury), DePaul (10-11, 2-6) just didn't have it in them to compete with Seton Hall (12-8, 3-4), falling to the Pirates 86-69 on Saturday afternoon at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

With DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell shorthanded, he went with a peculiar starting lineup of DeJuan Marrero, Edwin McGee, Brandon Young, Sandi Marcius and Durrell McDonald. It's not like he had much of choice. As you can imagine this unit was out of synch and could not make a real game of it.

In all, it was the perfect storm for DePaul to fail. All the things that could go wrong for the Demons did. The Demons shot just 41.8 percent from the field, and just did not have an answer for the hot-shooting Pirates, who scorched the nets to the tune of 56.6 percent shooting (and a blistering 62.1 percent in the first half).

"We turned the ball over at the top where we affectionately call them "pick sixes" where you can't defend them," said Purnell. "That's where we miss Billy Garrett. We just turned the ball over too much. We gave up 19 first-half points off turnovers. If you really look at it, that's the game."

Indeed, turnovers played a huge part as team had just a measly four assists to 14 turnovers. With Young playing more off the ball this year, the absence of Garrett definitely loomed large in this affair.

It was pretty much a rout from the get-go. After DePaul took an early 4-2 lead on a Brandon Young layup, Seton Hall went on a 9-1 run to take command early 13-4. Seton Hall would then proceed to end the first half on a 23-8 run to go up 20 at halftime, 45-25.

The second half wasn't much better, as the Pirates extended their 20-point halftime lead to 27 with 17:17 to go. From then DePaul battled, getting it down to 17 after a Young three pointer with 4:38 to go. However, it was too little too late.

DePaul just had no answer for Fuquan Edwin of the Pirates, who scored a game-high 30 points and was 11-16 from the floor, including 3-7 from three-point territory.

"He's a heck of player," said Purnell after the game. "He's the best defender that I've seen in a very long time. He picks it off and he goes the length and lays it up. His defense turned into his offense. He's really playing so well for them right now."

One lone bright spot for the Demons was the emergence of freshman guard R.J. Curington, who scored a career high 15 points (on 5 of 8 shooting). With the team shorthanded, the frosh answered the bell and had his breakthrough game. McDonald also fared well, scoring 14 points.

Young, who was benched for the second half of the Xavier game, returned and played the full game, leading the Demons in scoring (23 points). He just couldn't get enough secondary help on a night DePaul was not playing with a full deck.

After the game, Purnell said the status of Melvin will have to be reevaluated. Meanwhile, Garrett was still in the hospital (and had to receive an IV) and he wasn't sure his status at the moment. He said he hopes to be playing with a healthy roster for their next game.

DePaul will return to action next Saturday when they host Providence.

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