Blue Demons' Rally Falls Short

This men's basketball game involved a tale of two halves in Rosemont, Illinois tonight. The first half was dominated by the hot perimeter shooting of the Marquette Golden Eagles. The second half was dominated by a DePaul Blue Demons team that refused to quit. DePaul scratched and clawed their way back to come up on the short end 82-79.

DePaul trailed by as much as 24 in the first half that featured 17 points by Marquette freshman guard Dominic James and 15 for forward Steve Novak on five of seven shooting from three point range. The Golden Eagles shot a blistering 64.3% from three point range in the half. Marquette led at the break 49-30.

The Blue Demons came out of the locker room after the intermission determined and scored the first six points of the half. DePaul continued to fight their way back and showed no signs of quitting as the crowd got boisterous during their run. DePaul pulled to within two with 21 seconds to play on Draelon Burn's free throw shooting, but could get no closer.

Marquette hit 13 three-point shots tying the Allstate Arena record for trifectas. Each team finished with four players in double figures. James led all scorers with 29 points. Novak finished with 24, while Jerel McNeal and Joe Chapman contributed 11 apiece.

For DePaul, Sammy Mejia led the way with 24 points. "Sammy is playing as good as he ever has," said Marquette coach Tom Crean. "He's always been a thorn in our side. He's always been one of the better players in the league. He's making Draelon (Burns) so much better. They played with a ton of heart. We've got to learn how to build on a lead."

Sophomore Draelon Burns racked up 22 points, senior center Marlon Brumfield chipped in 11, while sophomore Karron Clarke finished with 10 points.

"I think the game was really a tale of two young teams trying to learn how to play with leads, how to come from behind," said Crean. "Both teams are going to continue to get a lot better."

The Blue Demons played without freshman forward Wilson Chandler who was suspended for a violation of team rules. Burns started in Chandler's place. Afterwards, DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright spoke about Chandler. "He's a wonderful, wonderful young man," said Wainwright. "I've learned to love him like he's a son. At no time at any level is there anything more important than team values and team rules. Unfortunately whenever you have those things, you have a chance to have mistakes that are made and we have to deal with those mistakes. Nobody is ever bigger than the program. He's a wonderful young man and I'm sure we'll straighten it out. I love that kid, I love his future. Everybody makes mistakes. I think we have to give people space and the opportunity to learn from their mistakes." Chandler was recently named the Big East Rookie of the Week.

Sophomore center Wesley Green missed the second half after playing 11 minutes in the first half. "I just held him out," said Wainwright. "He tweaked his ankle. Hopefully he'll be ready to go Saturday (at Providence)."

Faces in the Crowd

Bolingbrook High guard and DePaul recruit Will Walker.

Former Blue Demons - Mark Aguirre, Quentin Richardson, Marcus (Singer) Muhammed, Lemone Lampley, Quemont Greer, and Drake Diener.

Coach Loren Jackson and his entire Boys to Men Math and English Academy team.

Former University of North Carolina great and current New York Knicks assistant coach Phil Ford.

Official Box Score

Postgame Audio

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