With a perfect eight for eight from three point range, DePaul's Draelon Burns led all scorers with 32 points for the second consecutive game. Burns became only the fifth player in school history to have back-to-back 30 point outings. "DePaul's three point shooting was the key to the basketball game," said Islanders coach Perry Clark. "I thought Burns really just dominated the basketball game. He played extremely well."
The Blue Demons came out with a smaller starting lineup of Burns, Karron Clarke, Mac Koshwal, Jabari Currie, and Darquavis Tucker. With an energized pressure defense, DePaul forced the Islanders into 14 turnovers. "The last couple days in practice we've really been emphasizing how we play on defense," said Burns. "We just came out really aggressive."
Islanders center Chris Daniels came into the game averaging 21.3 points per game, but was held scoreless in the first half. Daniels managed to tally nine points in the second half. DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright's strategy was to shut down the Islanders' big man. "Our goal was for him to score no baskets at all," said Koshwal. "He still scored. We gave him a hard time and you see the result."
Daniels struggled in front of scouts for nine NBA teams as the Blue Demons double-teamed him. "My hat is off to Mac Koshwal and Karron Clarke, who did a great job against a very good inside player in Chris Daniels," said Wainwright. "Their speed and agility really negated his size. I thought that was the key to the game."
Koshwal went from a performance against North Carolina A&T, where he did not get a single shot off, to a career high of 17 points while snaring eight rebounds. Following the loss to North Carolina A&T, Koshwal did some soul searching. "We lost a few games that we're not supposed to lose," said Mac. "I looked at myself in the mirror and decided I have to help my teammates and at least give them my best and just work hard."
Clarke scored a season-high of 18 points while grabbing five rebounds. The last game haunted Karron as well. "I hate losing," said Clarke. "The whole week in practice we just played hard and killed each other in practice so we we're ready for today."
Kill each other they did. To Clarke, Tuesday's practice was the toughest he had seen this year. "You see my mouth, right?" said Clarke who took 13 stitches to his mouth after a collision with senior Cliff Clinkscales in practice.
Four players for DePaul finished in double figures. Dar Tucker recorded 10 points and three rebounds.
Three players stepped up for the Islanders. Guard Kevin Perkins led with 19 points. Former Simeon and Highland Community College point guard Tim Green finished with 14 points. While forward Justin Reynolds chipped in with 12.
The Blue Demons had 19 assists in the game. They shared the basketball and frequently made the extra pass.
DePaul now has a 10 day layoff before heading to Lawrence, Kansas to take on the fourth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks.
Game Notes from DePaul Sports Information
- Draelon Burns finished the game with 32 points as he went 11-for-13 from the field, 8-for-8 from three-point range and 2-for-2 from the line.
- Burns is the first Blue Demon to shoot 1.000 from behind the arc since Karron Clarke went 5-for-5 on March 2, 2006 against Syracuse and just the third in school history with a minimum of five attempts.
- Mac Koshwal scored a career-high 17 points while grabbing eight rebounds.
- Karron Clarke scored a season-high 18 points while posting five rebounds.
- Burns became the fifth player in DePaul history to post back-to-back 30+ point games. He joins George Mikan, Mark Aguirre, Stanley Brundy, and Tom Kleinschmidt as players with consecutive 30+ point performances.
- Burns broke the DePaul record for three-pointers made in one game with eight. Drake Diener held the previous record with seven three-pointers against Charlotte on February 16, 2005.
Post Game Audio
Obi Cleared to Practice
DePaul's Kene Obi has been certified an academic qualifier by the NCAA Clearinghouse and may begin participating in practice activities, it was announced today. Obi may begin practicing with the Blue Demons immediately.
DePaul is still waiting on word from the NCAA as to when Obi will be eligible to participate in inter-collegiate contests.
Obi is a 7-2, 260 lb. freshman from Obeagu, Nigeria.
Kene played at South Kent School in Connecticut last year.
Burns' Perfection Leads DePaul to Win
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