GAME NOTES: The DePaul Blue Demons look to end their two-game losing streak, but have quite the mountain to overcome as they host the Creighton Bluejays in Big East Conference action Tuesday at Allstate Arena.
Creighton has a seven-game win streak, and looks to make it eight in a row, including three in a row in the Big East. The Bluejays didn't have much trouble with Seton Hall Saturday, beating the Pirates, 79-66.
DePaul takes a two-game skid into the matchup with Creighton, and has lost three of its last four games. The last two losses suffered were both in conference play, most recently to Marquette, 66-56. In a crowded battle for Big East supremacy, DePaul has the worst overall record in the 10-team league at 8-7.
DePaul owns the all-time series lead against Creighton, 15-7, but the Bluejays as a program are on the upswing. The next time these programs will meet is on Feb. 7 at Creighton.
Creighton got a lot of help from star forward Doug McDermott in the team's first-ever road game as a member of the Big East Saturday against Seton Hall. The big man poured in 30 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out five assists in the 13-point victory. McDermott was one of four Bluejays to score in double figures. He was 12-of-23 shooting from the floor, including 2-of-5 from 3-point range. Jahenns Manigat netted 14 points in the win with four rebounds and four assists, going 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. Grant Gibbs scored 12, and Devon Brooks had 11 for Creighton, who as a team shot 46.3 percent.
McDermott is one of the top scorers in the nation, and leads the Bluejays this season with 24.7 ppg, and is tops on the team in rebounding with 7.5 rpg. McDermott is shooting 49.1 percent from the field this season and 90 percent from the free-throw line. Ethan Wragge, who has only started half of the 14 games Creighton has played this season, is second on the team in scoring with a 12.1 ppg average. Gibbs leads the Bluejays with 61 total assists and seven blocked shots. Creighton is scoring on average a whopping 81.5 ppg average.
DePaul took a 30-26 lead going into the intermission against Marquette, but not even Cleveland Melvin's five 3-pointers in the contest were enough to keep the Blue Demons from dropping their second game in a row. Melvin netted 22 points against Marquette to pace the Blue Demons on 8-of-15 shooting (5-of-8 from distance), while teammate Billy Garrett scored 10. They were the only starters for DePaul to score a point, as the others went a combined 0-of-13 from the floor. Sandi Marcius led the Blue Demons with four rebounds in the game, while Brandon Young dished out seven assists. DePaul shot 38.5 percent in the game.
Melvin paces the team with a 15.8 ppg average and 6.5 rpg. The forward is shooting 49.1 percent from 3-point range this season, which is helpful since his team as a whole is shooting just 35.1 percent from long distance. Young is second on the team with a 13.4 ppg average and leads with 59 total assists and 23 steals. For a team averaging 71.5 ppg, the Blue Demons may find it hard to keep pace with Creighton's strong offensive attack.
The McDermott-led Bluejays are such a strong offensive team, evidenced by their seven-game win streak. DePaul can put up a fight, but in the end Creighton is the better team.
Game Date and Time