Cincinnati Climbs Past DePaul

The Blue Demons got off to a quick start at Allstate Arena, but in the end it was Cincinnati walking out of Allstate Arena with a Big East win tonight.

DePaul (10-7, 1-3) succumbed to Cincinnati (15-3, 3-2) 75-70 tonight after jumping out to an early 9-0 run to start the game.

The Blue Demons struggled against the UC zone defense in the second half.

DePaul was cold from outside, shooting 14.3% from beyond the arc.

"We didn't get a lot of production from our perimeter guys in particular," said DePaul coach Oliver Purnell.

Junior forward Cleveland Melvin did manage a career-high 32 points to along with eight rebounds.

Junior guard Brandon Young added 18 points and Charles McKinney scored 10 points on four of seven shooting from the floor.

Yet the Blue Demons didn't get much help from the rest of their crew.

"We didn't get enough production from enough guys," said Purnell. "We need that. We need seven or eight guys to play well in a game like this to give us a great chance to win."

DePaul was not able to capitalize on the absence of Cincy point guard Cashmere Wright, who left the game with 15:12 to play in the second half with a knee injury.

The Demons did muster a late spurt that brought them to within three points with seven seconds remaining, but that rally proved to be too late.

The Bearcats had three players finish in double-figures.

Wright led the way with 20 points and seven assists before leaving the game. Sean Kilpatrick contributed 18 points and Jaquon Parker added 12.

Cheikh Mbodj blocked seven shots which is the second largest number of blocks ever recorded at Allstate Arena.

"They're a really good interior defensive team, because they have shot blockers, and they're pretty strong and athletic on the perimeter," Purnell said of the Bearcats.

The Blue Demons next face the Red Storm of St. John's at Allstate Arena on Saturday in an early 11 a.m. start.

Box Score

Notes:

- 13 NBA scouts representing nine teams including former DePaul coach Joey Meyer and DePaul legend David Booth attended tonight's game.

- Tuesday was the 50th all-time meeting between the two programs... Cincinnati leads the series by a 35-15 margin... the Bearcats have won five straight games in the series.

- DePaul gave up its largest lead of the season tonight of 11 points in the first half... previously, it was a 10-point lead at Chicago State on Dec. 5.

- Cincinnati's Cheikh Mbodj set a new Allstate Arena record for an opponent with seven blocked shots... as a team, Cincinnati tied the arena opponent record with a combined 12 rejections... Southern posted 12 blocked shots on Dec. 19, 2008.

- Cleveland Melvin recorded a career-high with 32 points... it is his second game this season and third of his career with 30 or more points.

- Melvin moved into 25th all-time on DePaul's scoring list.

- Over the last three games, Brandon Young is 17-for-18 (.944) from the free throw line.

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