DePaul vs. Marquette Game Preview

The Blue Demons close out 2014 and open Big East Conference play against the Marquette Golden Eagles at Allstate Arena on New Year’s Eve. We preview the game in this report.

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons (6-7) vs. Marquette Golden Eagles (8-4) – Wednesday, December 31st, 4:00 p.m. Central – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois

Television – FOX Sports 1

Radio – WSCR AM 670

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Game Preview

After starting out the year with a 6-1 record, the Blue Demons have now lost six straight, and finished the non-conference portion of their schedule with a 6-7 record.

“We’re definitely reeling right now,” DePaul coach Oliver Purnell said after the team dropped their sixth in a row.

Meanwhile, after struggling early in the season, Marquette is now riding a four game winning streak. The Golden Eagles haven’t lost since 6-11 sophomore Luke Fischer joined the team after transferring from Indiana. With Fischer in the lineup, Marquette is a completely different team.

Fischer is leading the Golden Eagles in scoring (15.5 points per game) and rebounding (7.5 rpg) despite not having started a single game for MU.

For DePaul to have any kind of a chance at winning this game (and ending their losing streak), they will have to defend the three point shot well. BYU transfer Matt Carlino is Marquette’s marksman from beyond the arc. Carlino is averaging 12.3 ppg and has shot 26 of 58 on threes (44.8%) this season.

Jajuan Johnson has been a surprise for Marquette off the bench. The sophomore forward was named to this week’s Big East Honor Roll after averaging 16 points, four assists and 3.5 rebounds in wins over North Dakota and Morgan State, Johnson is averaging 9.1 ppg on the season.

If you’re looking for a weakness, the Golden Eagles do struggle to score at times. Marquette is in last place in the Big East in Scoring Offense at 70.6 points per game.

The question is whether DePaul can shake out of their current funk. The Blue Demons were in a state of Polynesian paralysis during their three game road trip to Hawaii for the Diamond Head Classic last week.

Purnell attributes the losing streak to his team’s lack of defense and wants to see a return to where the team was when they defeated Stanford back on November 30th.

“We have to get back to the level that we were playing at two weeks ago,” Purnell said.

The Last Time

On February 22, 2014 at Allstate Arena, the Blue Demons lost a 96-94 overtime thriller to Marquette.

DePaul tied the game at 82-82 with 2.6 seconds to go at the end of regulation thanks to a three pointer courtesy of freshman guard Billy Garrett, Jr.

The Blue Demons tried to rally at the end of overtime with a layup by Brandon Young with six seconds left, followed by a steal and missed attempt by Durrell McDonald just as time expired giving the Golden Eagles the victory.

DePaul played the overtime period without big men Sandi Marcius and Tommy Hamilton IV who both fouled out in regulation.

The Blue Demons had to come back from a 15 point deficit in the second half as they started out the half slow.

Marquette had four players finish in double-figures. Davante Gardner led the Golden Eagles with 22 points after coming in off the bench. Todd Mayo also added 19 points of the bench. Jamil Wilson scored 18 points and Chris Otule finished with 12.

DePaul senior guard Brandon Young led all scorers with 29 points on 10 of 18 shooting and dishing out six assists while logging 43 minutes. Garrett added a career-high 26 points and McDonald came off the bench to score 13 in the losing effort.

Marquette Roster

No. Name Ht./Wt. Pos. Year Hometown (High School)

1 Duane Wilson 6-2/185 RS FR Milwaukee, Wis. (Dominican HS)

5 Sandy Cohen, III 6-6/180 FR Seymour, Wis. (Seymour HS)

10 Juan Anderson 6-6/215 SR Oakland, Calif. (Castro Valley HS)

12 Derrick Wilson 6-1/210 SR Anchorage, Alaska (The Hotchkiss School)

13 Matt Carlino 6-2/175 GS Phoenix, Ariz. (Bloomington South HS)

22 Wally Ellenson 6-6/210 JR Rice Lake, Wis. (Rice Lake HS)

23 Jajuan Johnson 6-5/200 SO Memphis, Tenn. (Southwind HS)

25 Steve Taylor, Jr. 6-7/240 JR Chicago, Ill. (Simeon HS)

40 Luke Fischer 6-11/245 SO Germantown, Wis. (Germantown HS)

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