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DePaul clips Chicago State in overtime, 77-70

DePaul forward Moses Morgan (15) guard BrandYoung (20) center Derrell RobertsJr. smile as they watch teammates play against Milwaukee during

DePaul forward Moses Morgan (15), guard Brandon Young (20) and center Derrell Robertson Jr., smile as they watch teammates play against Milwaukee during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Rosemont, Ill., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. DePaul won 84-50. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

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Updated: December 15, 2013 11:20PM

Charles McKinney was on the bench for two of DePaul’s last four games, suspended for violating unspecified team rules.

But the junior guard from Evanston proved he learned a lesson Sunday, teaming with freshman Billy Garrett Jr. to make the difference in overtime in a 77-70 victory against Chicago State at Allstate Arena.

‘‘Coach looks to me to be an energy guy,’’ said McKinney, whose steal and layup in the opening minute of overtime broke a 62-62 tie for good for the Blue Demons (6-4). ‘‘We had to come out with a lot of energy, and I just encouraged my teammates to be as one with me and get a spark. Coach putting me back in after my suspension, I felt I had to prove myself and not stop this mission we’re on.’’

McKinney’s eight points, four assists, three rebounds, two blocks and three steals in 29 minutes all seemed to come at critical times as the Cougars (4-6) fought back from a 12-point second-half deficit to take a 62-61 lead with 1:23 left on Corey Gray’s three-point shot.

DePaul senior Brandon Young (14 points) made one of two free throws to tie the score with 51 seconds left.

‘‘I was thrilled to get into overtime,’’ DePaul coach Oliver Purnell said after his team saw its 38-32 halftime lead disappear by shooting only 27 percent in the second half.

‘‘Charles plays so hard that something is bound to happen that will be good,’’ said Garrett, who scored eight of his 17 points in overtime. ‘‘He sparked our team in overtime and that was the game-changer.’’

Senior Cleveland Melvin led DePaul with a double-double (18 points and 11 rebounds) and passed Dallas Comegys to move into seventh place on the all-time scoring list (1,624).

Young’s five assists moved him past Terence Greene for fourth on the school’s career list (450).

But the Cougars had them on their heels in the second half.

‘‘They came in here with the recipe for an upset,’’ Purnell said. ‘‘Hang in there, take the punches and wait for the home team to feel the pressure.’’

Cougars coach Tracy Dildy, a former DePaul assistant, used switching defenses to confuse the Demons.

‘‘That kind of caught them off guard and wondering what [scheme] we were in. But that only works so long before players step up and make plays and counter what you’re doing.

‘‘Brandon and Billy made plays, but I’m excited at how our guys put up a fight. It was going to be hard to beat a team on the road when they shoot 40 free throws.’’

Quinton Pippen and reserve Nate Duhon led the Cougars with 18 points each while Clarke Rosenberg added 17.

‘‘This was a game we really wanted but my team fought hard,’’ Pippen said.

Next up for DePaul is Houston Baptist (3-7) on Wednesday.


Twitter: @toniginnetti

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