DePaul men’s basketball showing improvement in 84-50 win
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org December 9, 2012 8:20PM
DePaul forward Donnavan Kirk (23) dunks against Milwaukee forward James Haarsma during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Rosemont, Ill., on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. DePaul won 84-50. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Updated: December 9, 2012 10:23PM
The last five minutes of DePaul’s 84-50 victory Sunday against Wisconsin-Milwaukee belonged to the walk-ons and the freshmen, a sign of how much the Blue Demons (6-3) had improved since a sloppy effort three days earlier against Chicago State.
‘‘If you want to go from fair to good or good to great, you have to be consistent,’’ coach Oliver Purnell said of his points of emphasis last week. ‘‘Who do we want to be? An inconsistent team or a consistent one?’’
There was consistency from start to finish against the Panthers (3-7), who handed DePaul a painful 87-76 loss last year at Allstate Arena.
‘‘They were up on us last year 48-28 at the half, then beat us pretty hard,’’ Purnell said. ‘‘I was pleased with the improvement from last year, but even more so with the improvement the last few days.’’
Last season’s loss wasn’t the only motivator, senior point guard Worrel Clahar said.
‘‘They beat us here last year, so it was a little bit of payback, but we’re also trying to take care of our home court,’’ he said. ‘‘We want to defend our home court and win every game here.’’
Clahar sparked the team effort with 10 assists and eight rebounds off the bench and had four of DePaul’s eight steals. Four Demons were in double figures in scoring, but Clahar set a tone for the kind of play Purnell wants.
‘‘He’s been that kind of player for us since he got here [last season], but particularly this year,’’ Purnell said. ‘‘He’s starting to guard the ball well, and he was a big difference-maker today. He just did a nice job all the way around.’’