GAME NOTES: The Arizona State Sun Devils will try to fend off the red-hot DePaul Blue Demons when the two teams tangle at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe on Wednesday evening.
DePaul picked up its fourth consecutive win on Sunday by logging an 84-50 rout of Milwaukee at home. The Blue Demons are now 6-3 overall after getting off to a slow 2-5 start. Coach Oliver Purnell's squad won its first true road games at Auburn (80-76) and Chicago State (74-64) during its current streak. The team's two losses came to Wichita State and Western Kentucky at the Cancun Challenge.
Herb Sendek's Sun Devils are also coming in on a four-game winning streak after posting an 87-76 victory over Cal State Northridge on Saturday. Arizona State, which finished last season 10-21 overall, is now 8-1 with all but one of its wins coming by double digits. The Sun Devils are scoring 79 ppg on 46 percent shooting from the field while limiting the opposition to 67.2 ppg on 38.2 percent shooting.
This will be the fifth meeting between these two schools on the hardwood. A year ago, DePaul notched a 68-64 win in the Old Spice Classic to improve its lead in the series to 3-1.
Despite knocking down only 2-of-15 attempts from three-point range, the Blue Demons were quite efficient at the offensive end in their blowout win over Milwaukee. They shot 50 percent from the floor and converted 12-of-15 attempts at the charity stripe with 19 assists to 13 turnovers. DePaul also held a 47-39 edge in the rebounding battle and forced 17 turnovers. Donnavan Kirk led four players in double figures with 14 points. Junior forward Cleveland Melvin added 11 points in the win. He now leads the team with 18.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per contest. Junior guard Brandon Young is netting 16.8 ppg while handing out a team-high 4.4 apg.
The Sun Devils have shown they can get up and down the floor this season with point guard Jahi Carson controlling the action, but center Jordan Bachynski stole the show in the team's recent win over CS Northridge as he registered the first triple-double in school history with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 12 blocks. Carson tallied 21 points and six assists in the contest, while five players in total reached double figures in the scoring column. Carson leads the team with 18.6 points and 5.3 assists per outing. Senior forward Carrick Felix is going to have his work cut out with Melvin, but the athletic swingman has been very productive himself this season with 15.7 points and 6.9 boards per game. Bachynski is contributing 10.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.6 blocks per contest.
DePaul and Arizona State were both at the bottom of their respective conferences last season. Both have also shown improvement this season, but ASU's growth due to the maturation of Bachynski and the addition of Carson trumps the Blue Demons' development. The Sun Devils have a chance to make a statement in this one.
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