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DePaul shows flashes but falls to Georgetown

DePaul’s ClevelMelvtries wrestle ball away from Georgetown’s JasClark who scored career-high 31 points Tuesday. | Getty Images

DePaul’s Cleveland Melvin tries to wrestle the ball away from Georgetown’s Jason Clark, who scored a career-high 31 points Tuesday. | Getty Images

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Updated: February 19, 2012 8:23AM

For stretches Tuesday against No. 10 Georgetown, DePaul looked like a team that could contend in the Big East.

But each time the Blue Demons got close, including within one early in the second half, the Hoyas answered with dominating runs and finished with an 83-75 victory at Allstate Arena.

‘‘We’re just not playing well enough for long enough,’’ coach Oliver Purnell said after DePaul fell to 10-8 overall and 1-5 in the conference. ‘‘It’s that simple.’’

The Demons forced 18 turnovers, but they were dominated 47-25 in rebounds and 14-2 in fast-break points and had seven shots blocked. Georgetown (15-3, 5-2) also got a career-high 31 points from guard Jason Clark.

‘‘We got outrebounded by an awful lot, and even though we only had 11 turnovers, six or seven led to open layups,’’ Purnell said. ‘‘When we took our time, we had some good looks. But when we took bad shots, those are like turnovers.’’

DePaul had three players in double figures, with forward Cleveland Melvin scoring 19 points, guard Moses Morgan 17 and guard Brandon Young 16.

‘‘It’s real tough [losing] because we did a good job guarding their sets, but then we didn’t rebound,’’ said Morgan, who had career highs in points and three-pointers (five). ‘‘We got close, and then we didn’t get the rebounds and loose balls. We need to do a better job of that.’’

The Demons trailed 37-31 at the half and were behind only 48-46 after a three-pointer by Morgan with 14 minutes left. But the Hoyas responded with a 12-2 run, and DePaul never got close again.

‘‘We have to fight tougher and harder,’’ said guard Worrel Clahar, who made his first start for the Demons. ‘‘We’d come close but couldn’t finish it. Coach says we’ll spurt, but we have to fight harder and longer.’’

Clahar scored seven points to go with five assists and four steals.

‘‘We needed some energy and athleticism, and I thought he gave us that,’’ Purnell said. ‘‘But he made a couple of ill-advised decisions inside. He has to consistently hit the open man, but he continues to be a pleasant surprise for us.’’

Georgetown improved to 12-0 this season when scoring at least 69 points, but DePaul far exceeded the 59-point average the Hoyas were allowing opponents.

The loss was the Demons’ 35th in a row to a ranked opponent.

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