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February 16, 2013DePaul snapped its nine game losing streak Saturday afternoon, defeating Rutgers 75-69 at the All State Arena. Senior guard Worrel Clahar was the catalyst for DePaul, making his presence felt in numerous ways. Clahar was efficient scoring-wise, finishing with 19 points on 7 of 8 shooting from the field. He also contributed 7 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals and a block. Brandon Young chipped in 16 points and Cleveland Melvin added 15 points.
DePaul was nursing a 70-66 lead with 35 seconds left in the game as Charles McKinney missed a jumper. Clahar came out of nowhere to corral the offensive rebound and give DePaul another possession. Clahar talked about the crucial rebound. "Its not about size at the end of the day," Clahar said. "Just determination, I wanted to get the rebound, I knew it was key for the team." Young was then fouled seven seconds later and he made both free throws to extend DePaul's lead to 72-66. Rutgers responded with a three by Myles Mack, but DePaul was able to close out the game and win 75-69.
DePaul outrebounded Rutgers 38-30, with six Blue Demons having at least four rebounds. 18 of DePaul's 38 rebonds came off the offensive glass, which led to 16 second chance points for DePaul.
DePaul made 18 of 24 free throws, and made crucial free throws late in the game to seal the victory. DePaul came into the game making .704% of its free throws on the season. In the final two minutes of the game, DePaul made 5 of 7 free throws to maintain their lead over Rutgers, which secured the victory for the Blue Demons.
He Said It:
DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell was confident the Blue Demons would defeat Rutgers before the game ever started. "Our mantra right after the Notre Dame game, certainly our first meeting as we prepared for Rutgers, was nothing else mattered but we're gonna beat Rutgers," Purnell said. "That's what we kept repeating through practices and meetings."
Clahar shared his thoughts on Mack's game-high 28 points for Rutgers, particularly his scoring surge late in the game. "Oh that's cool cuz at the end of the day we got the win," Clahar said. "He could have scored 100, as long as we got the win." Clahar was clearly excited to end the nine game losing streak. He could have cared less how many points Mack scored.
Next For DePaul:
DePaul (11-14, 2-10) takes on Georgetown (19-4, 9-3) on Wednesday at the Verizon Center in Washington DC.
Donnavan Kirk had his third consecutive game with double-digits in the scoring column, finishing with 11 points against Rutgers. It's also Kirk's fourth straight game with a made three pointer. He made 1 of 2 three pointers against Rutgers.
Derrell Robertson Jr. was very active in limited time against Rutgers, finishing with four points and five rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench. All five of Robertson Jr.'s rebounds were offensive rebounds, leading to second chance opportunities for DePaul.