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DePaul’s woes at Marquette continue

Davante Gardner (54) burned DePaul for 28 points 21 second half when Marquette rallied from 10 down.  |

Davante Gardner (54) burned DePaul for 28 points, 21 in the second half, when Marquette rallied from 10 down. | AP

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Updated: February 6, 2014 6:47AM



MILWAUKEE — Nothing ever has been easy for DePaul in the BMO Harris Bradley Center against Marquette, its longest-running rival.

It was all the worse Saturday in the teams’ 113th meeting after the Blue Demons saw a 10-point lead early in the second half disappear because of turnovers and the hot hand of Davante Gardner.

He finished with 28 points — 21 in the second half — as the Golden Eagles (9-6, 1-1 Big East) continued their dominance over the Blue Demons (8-7, 0-2) with a 66-56 victory.

‘‘We didn’t have an answer for Gardner in the second half, and turnovers [four in the final four minutes] just killed us,’’ DePaul coach Oliver Purnell said. ‘‘It was such a better start than our last four or five games, but then [Marquette] got going. Marquette is a good defensive team, but you can’t squander possessions.’’

The Demons haven’t won a game against Marquette in Milwaukee since 2000, but they had a lead through the first 33 minutes. They led 40-30 with 15:27 left and 43-38 with 8:55 to go.

The Golden Eagles finished on a 26-6 run, making 14 of 16 free throws during that stretch.

DePaul shot only four free throws. Marquette had 31 attempts.

‘‘I was a little miffed we didn’t go to the line more because we were going to the basket,’’ Purnell said. ‘‘With the way the new rules are, you’d expect to get to the line more.’’

But the Demons weren’t attacking consistently to draw fouls, instead hitting 10 of 23 three-point tries.

‘‘We have to execute better and move the ball better,’’ said Cleveland Melvin, who broke out of a slump with 22 points, including five three-pointers. He passed Stephen Howard for sixth place on DePaul’s all-time scoring list (1,695), but Melvin had only seven in the second half.

Brandon Young was scoreless for only the second time in his career, going 0-for-7 from the field in the first half and taking only two shots in the second. He had seven assists and two steals.

‘‘I just couldn’t buy a basket today, but I have four teammates on the floor,’’ Young said. ‘‘I knew Cleve had the hot hand in the first half and was trying to find him.’’

DePaul played without Jamee Crockett. Purnell said he was suspended for the game for an unspecified conduct matter.

Email: tginnetti@suntimes.com

Twitter: @toniginnetti



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