Blue Demons Blow Past Trinity Christian

The DePaul men's basketball team was without the services of junior guard Sammy Mejia tonight due to a death in his family. The entire team stepped up their performance to make up for the loss of their leading scorer. Sophomore forward Karron Clarke led all scorers with 26 points on eight of nine shooting from the field, and two of three from three point range as the Blue Demons cruised by the Trinity Christian Trolls 91-73 in the second exhibition game of the season.

Clarke was perfect from the free throw line hitting all eight charity shots. "That's something we worked on since individual workouts," said Clarke. "Plus (Coach Jerry Wainwright) stressed that we shot poorly last week. He stressed it before and after practice. I was hitting them all week, I was feeling confident coming into the game."

Karron also contributed on the defensive end with three steals. "Outstanding effort by Karron Clarke," observed Wainwright. I think he showed some of the rust leaving his game. Pretty good balance by the rest of the kids."

With Mejia out, Wainwright started Marlon Brumfield, Clarke, Cliff Clinkscales, and freshmen Jabari Currie and Wilson Chandler. The team's thoughts were with their absent teammate. "Our feelings are with Sammy Mejia and his family," said Wainwright. "This is a very close family. His grandmother passed away. Our university and players want to wish the family the best. The funeral is at the beginning of the week (in New York City)." The mood in practice the last few days was different without Mejia. "It was kind of a somber feeling," remarked Wainwright.

Besides Clarke, the Blue Demons had four other players in double figures. Sophomore center Wesley Green finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. "I think he's a key guy," stated Wainwright. "He hasn't played for two years. He's a great passer. He's really got good hands. I think he's moving better. If there was a guy who was key to our team, he's certainly if not the guy, one of the guys."

Draelon Burns had 14 points on six of ten shooting from the field and got significant playing time without Mejia. "I thought Draelon played pretty well," said Wainwright.

Freshman Wilson Chandler had 10 points and eight rebounds in limited playing time due to foul trouble. "Wilson Chandler had to learn to play with fouls," Wainwright observed.

Even freshman swingman Rashad Woods got into the act scoring 10 points and knocking down two three pointers. "Rashad Woods was able to make a couple shots early on," said Wainwright. "It gave him some confidence. I think he's the kind of kid that can give you some instant offense."

Wainwright rewarded walk-on guard Jeremy "Pee Wee" Jones with playing time in the first half. "He had an unbelievable week in practice. He's an unbelievable kid. I think he deserved to play based on his practice effort. Drew Gladstone's work habit has been great. Lorenzo Thompson and Marcus Heard have improved so much, just in a short time. They're such great kids. They've really become a strength."

The game was nip and tuck for the first eight minutes and tied up at 17 at 11:12 to play in the first half when Lorenzo Thompson laid the ball in to begin an eleven point run for the Blue Demons. DePaul never trailed again.

Dean Nauta led the Trolls with 18 points off of six three pointers. "They really did a terrific job shooting the basketball," Wainwright complimented.

Next up for the Blue Demons is the Bradley Braves at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL on November 19th.

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