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DePaul looking to get over hump vs. No. 10 Louisville

Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright left defends DePaul guard BrandYoung during second half an NCAA college basketball game Rosemont Ill. Saturday

Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright, left, defends DePaul guard Brandon Young during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Rosemont, Ill., on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013. Connecticut won 81-69. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

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Updated: February 26, 2013 11:25PM

DePaul’s history against Louisville dates to its years as an independent, when the visiting Cardinals and busloads of fans usually saw spirited games in Rosemont.

The Blue Demons defeated Louisville in 1989, when the Cardinals were ranked No. 8; in 1990, when they were ranked No. 10; in 1992 and 1995, when they were unranked; and in 2004 in Louisville, Ky., when they were ranked No. 21.

The teams became conference foes in 1995 in Conference USA and moved together to the Big East in 2005. Since joining the Big East, though, DePaul is winless in eight games against Louisville.

In the teams’ last meeting — Feb. 18, 2012, at Allstate Arena — the Demons held a surprising 42-32
halftime lead against the then-
No. 19 Cardinals. The 10-point halftime advantage was DePaul’s largest in a Big East game last
season, but Louisville rallied to tie the score at the end of regulation, then won 90-82 in overtime.

The Cardinals lost three of their next four games before going on a postseason tear, winning the Big East tournament and going on to reach the Final Four.

Life for Louisville and veteran coach Rick Pitino has been good this season, too. The No. 10 Cardinals (22-5, 10-4) are in third place in the Big East, a game behind conference-leading Georgetown, as they come to Allstate Arena on Wednesday.

Life for the Demons (11-16, 2-12), meanwhile, has continued to be a struggle. They have only one victory in their last 12 games and have lost three games in overtime in the last month. They lost Saturday to Connecticut after leading by three points at halftime.

‘‘It’s discouraging, but I’m
encouraged that they continue to fight and dust themselves off and prepare,’’ DePaul coach Oliver Purnell said. ‘‘We’re clearly putting ourselves in position to win but not getting over the top. That speaks to probably our experience in terms of not having a lot of success in the last year. We’re in that process of learning to close out games and to win.’’

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