DePaul (10-11, 1-7) suffered its second consecutive overtime defeat, this time losing to Notre Dame (18-4, 6-3) 79-71 in overtime at the All State Arena Saturday afternoon. It's DePaul's sixth straight loss, all of which have been Big East games. All five of DePaul's starters scored in double-figures, with Brandon Young leading the way with 15 points. Cleveland Melvin added 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Pivotal Moment: DePaul closed out the second half on a surge, forcing overtime. But once overtime started, Notre Dame had complete control. Charles McKinney turned the ball over five seconds into the overtime, which led to an Eric Atkins three. Notre Dame outscored DePaul 9-1 in overtime, and Atkins provided seven of the nine points in overtime for Notre Dame. DePaul missed all four of its field goal attempts, and only made one of its four free throws.
Key Stats: DePaul's Balanced Scoring Effort
All five of DePaul's starters scored in double-figures, which pleased DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell. It was the first time five players scored in double-digits since November 14th, 2010 against Chicago State. "Offensively we were pretty good," Purnell said. "We had balance with five starters in double-figures. And we executed down the stretch in regulation, got the ball exactly where we wanted to get it," Purnell said. Junior Donnavan Kirk scored 13 points, his first double-digit performance since December 9th against Wisconsin Milwaukee, when he scored 14 points.
DePaul's Second Half Defense
The Blue Demons played stellar defense in the second half, which led to DePaul forcing the overtime. Notre Dame only shot 35% from the field in the second half. Specifically, DePaul played great defense on Jerian Grant. Coming into the game, Grant was averaging 12.7 points per game on 45% shooting from the field and 74% from the free throw line. Grant, who was primarily guarded by McKinney, finished with 10 points Saturday. He shot 2 of 9 from the field, and converted on 6 of 12 of his free throws.
Next for DePaul: DePaul plays its next game against Villanova (13-8, 4-4) on Tuesday at the All State Arena.
There was a registered crowd attendance of 11,354, by far the largest turnout this season for DePaul. And DePaul's players noticed, particularly Kirk. "It was loud out there, they really were the sixth man out there," Kirk said.
McKinney had his first outing with multiple three pointers made this season, making both of his three point attempts. Coming into the game, McKinney had only made 1 of his 4 three pointers. He's now made 3 of 6 three pointers on the season.