GAME NOTES: A local rivalry is on tap at Allstate Arena this Sunday as the DePaul Blue Demons host the Chicago State Cougars in non-conference action.
The results for Chicago State at home and on the road have been drastically different this season. The Cougars have won all four of their games as the host but have lost all five chances as a visiting squad. Chicago State was at home last time out and topped Division II Wisconsin-Parkside by a 90-81 final. Chicago State hosts SIU Edwardsville next.
DePaul is in the midst of a five-game homestand with this contest marking the fourth of the stretch. The Blue Demons took wins in two of the first three, including an 81-70 triumph over Florida Atlantic last time out. DePaul is keeping itself just above water with a record of 5-4 overall. The Blue Demons will close up shop on the homestand against Houston Baptist next time out.
Even though these teams reside in the same city that doesn't mean they have enjoyed a competitive rivalry. DePaul has won all 11 prior meetings, including a 74-64 victory last season.
It didn't seem like Chicago State could miss against Wisconsin-Parkside. The Cougars knocked down 61.8 percent of their shots from the floor, including a 7-of-13 effort from beyond the arc. Corey Gray led four players in double figures for Chicago State with 19 points.
That kind of shooting success has not been a common occurrence for the Cougars, who are netting just 43 percent of their field-goal attempts this season. Relying on a quartet of scorers has been par for the course. Quinton Pippen (15 ppg) is the leading scorer on a team that features four players averaging in double figures. Pippen was absent from the lineup last game, but he is expected to return on Sunday. Clarke Rosenberg (13 ppg) is the second best scorer on the roster, connecting on 52 percent of his shots from the floor. Matt Ross (12.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg) and Nate Duhon (10.1 ppg) also get their fair share of offensive opportunities.
Led by 38 points and 18 rebounds combined between Cleveland Melvin and Sandi Marcius, DePaul overpowered FAU inside. The Blue Demons outscored the Owls, 46-34, in the paint and also had a 39-28 edge on the boards. DePaul also managed to sink 52.5 percent of its shots, en route to the victory.
Melvin's partner is normally Brandon Young, as the tandem account for 32.2 points per game. Melvin (!6.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg) leads the way, netting nearly 50 percent of his shots from the floor, while doing the heavy lifting on the boards. Young (15.8 ppg, 4.6 apg, 2 spg) runs the show from the perimeter but is more than capable of putting the ball on the floor and getting to the rim. Young is also valuable for his ability to distribute and create turnovers on the defensive end. Tommy Hamilton (11 ppg) is the final member of the team scoring in double figures, though Billy Garrett (9.8 ppg) has the ability to do so. However, Garrett is hitting only 36.1 percent of his field goal attempts.
DePaul may not have as many options in terms of scoring as Chicago State, but Melvin and Young will be much more difficult to stop for the Cougars. Expect the Blue Demons to put up a strong defensive effort on their home floor.
Game Date and Time