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DePaul goes cold, defense fails in loss to South Florida

Updated: February 25, 2012 8:10AM

When DePaul’s shooting went cold, its defense didn’t do enough to pick up the slack.

Guard Brandon Young went 0-for-13 from the field and forward Moses Morgan 1-for-10, and the Blue Demons were outscored 21-10 in the final 8:25 in a 75-59 loss to South Florida on Sunday at Allstate Arena.

“When Moses doesn’t hit from the outside and Jeremiah Kelly [three points] doesn’t score and Brandon obviously wasn’t very good, we’ll have problems,” coach Oliver Purnell said. “With our inability to make shots, it makes you let down defensively.

“We have to concentrate on executing a game plan for 40 minutes, not 20 or 30, and you can’t be affected by not making shots. That hasn’t happened to us all season. You have to continue doing things defensively to give yourself a chance.”

The Demons (10-9, 1-6 Big East) stayed close for 30 minutes, but center Augustus Gilchrist’s jumper with 8:25 left put the Bulls ahead 56-49 and started the closing run.

“They were on us a little on the glass [early], but right around the nine-minute mark, we shut them down and that was it,” Bulls coach Stan Heath said.

Bulls 6-1 guard Anthony Collins helped defend Young, who made only six free throws. He entered the game averaging 16.8 points.

“To hold a terrific player like Brandon Young scoreless from the field is a great feat,” Heath said.

The Demons got 17 points and seven rebounds from forward Cleveland Melvin, and Jamee Crockett had a career-best 15 points off the bench.

Gilchrist scored a season-high 22 points and guard Jawanza Poland 19. The Bulls also outrebounded the Demons 40-29.

“I thought we did a good job on Gilchrist in the first half, but we didn’t do it the second half,” Purnell said of the NBA prospect whose career-best scoring and rebounding games have come against DePaul. “Particularly down the stretch when they needed baskets inside, we weren’t defending enough.”

“We just weren’t playing defense as hard as we could [at the end],” Crockett said. “It’s a team game, and though [Young] had an off game, that’s no excuse for us to lose.”

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