DePaul learns from embarrassing loss, routs Austin Peay
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org November 17, 2012 3:56PM
Austin Peay’s Jerome Clyburn and DePaul’s Donnavan Kirk battle for a loose ball in the first half at Allstate Arena. | Nam Y. Huh~AP
Updated: December 19, 2012 3:57PM
DePaul guard Brandon Young admitted he got “the wake-up call’’ from the Blue Demons’ embarrassing 71-59 loss to Gardner-Webb on Thursday.
“That wasn’t DePaul basketball,” he said Saturday. “I wasn’t a leader, and I take that loss on me. It was definitely an eye-opener that we can’t be lackluster.”
Young and the Demons (2-1) went from dull to dynamic Saturday against Austin Peay, dominating in every category they lacked in two days earlier with a 98-67 victory in the second round of the Cancun Challenge at Allstate Arena.
Young (17 points, five assists, five rebounds, two steals) and Cleveland Melvin (game-high 26 points, eight rebounds, three assists, four steals) led the way in a game in which every Demon played.
But the victory also came with a cost. Forward Jamee Crockett of Crete-Monee was fouled going up for a shot and went down hard with 12:29 left in the second half. He clutched his right knee while trainers tended to him, and he was helped off the court.
Crockett, who had five points, eight rebounds, one block and a career-high four steals, stayed on the bench with his knee packed in ice.
“We don’t know much right now,’’ Purnell said. “It’s a scary situation. He was pretty scared when he went down. He wasn’t in as much pain at the end of the game, but we’ll have to see.’’
Crockett and his teammates were a markedly different group against the Governors (1-2), turning up the defense early. In the first half, the Demons forced 18 turnovers that led to 31 points.
The Demons also had 23 assists and 16 steals, outrebounded Austin Peay 42-36 and shot 51.3 percent (40-for-78) from the field.
Moses Morgan was the Demons’ other double-digit scorer in a new role off the bench.
“Because of what he can provide us, I like him in that role,” Purnell said. “When you bring him in and can move him around, he causes matchup problems. We talked about that role, and he embraced it.”
Durrell McDonald helped spark a 13-0 run for DePaul in the first half with a pair of steals, a three-pointer and a field goal in less than a minute. He finished with nine points.
“I think he’s coming along great,” Purnell said. “He’s so quick he can do a good job of pressuring the ball. I think by midseason he’ll be real effective. He’s like Jamee but in a different way. He makes you instantly quicker.”
DePaul scored 58 points in the first half, one fewer than they scored Thursday.
“I gave Gardner-Webb a lot of credit the other night, but I give our guys credit today,” Purnell said. “They bounced back. They found out something about themselves. They had a chance to atone. I told them, ‘As long as we learn from it and you bounce back, it can be a good thing.’ ”