ROSEMONT, Ill. – Once again DePaul gave glimpses of being a team on the verge of a breakthrough. Still, the effort ended with yet another Big East loss for the Blue Demons.
"We're just not playing well enough or long enough," coach Oliver Purnell said Tuesday night after an 83-75 loss to No. 10 Georgetown, the Blue Demons' fourth straight.
DePaul kept scrapping and hustling to the end. Every time the Blue Demons looked like they were about to be blown out, they rallied within striking distance.
"Good spurts out there where you see good offense, tenacious defense and timely rebounding, but we're not doing it long enough. It's that simple," Purnell said. "We got to play better."
The Blue Demons were routed on the boards, 47-25 by the aggressive Hoyas, who won despite playing without starting guard Markel Starks, who couldn't go because of a stomach ailment.
And DePaul couldn't control the Hoyas' other guard, their star Jason Clark, who finished with a career-high 31 points.
Clark was 11 of 14 from the field, including 5 of 7 on 3-pointers — he made only four 3-pointers in his previous six games — but did miss five of the nine free throws
"He (Clark) started with a 3 stepping behind a screen and they weren't easy shots.... Then he got a few easy ones going to the basket. He made some really tough shots," Purnell said.
"I think it was just coming through our offense," Clark said of his big scoring game. "I've been on a stretch where I haven't been making a lot of 3-pointers but today they were falling."
Henry Sims added 16 points and Otto Porter had 15 rebounds for Georgetown ((15-3, 5-2).
And even though DePaul had only 11 turnovers, several were out near the key leading to Georgetown fast breaks, many of those by Clark.
"Those are almost like pick 6s in football, they're uncontested. You take away six or seven of those you got a different deal. And the shot selection could have been better," Purnell said.
"When we took our time and attacked, we got good looks and we got the ball where we wanted. ... But you take bad shots, a lot of times they're just like turnovers."
Cleveland Melvin scored 19 points and Moses Morgan had 17, including five 3-pointers, for the Blue Demons (10-8, 1-5).
Morgan found the range on two 3-pointers and Melvin had a jumper in an 8-0 run that made it a two-point game with 14 minutes to go.
Once again the Hoyas' strong rebounding and Clark stopped the run. Clark had a driving reverse layup, Hollis Thompson scored on a follow and Clark made another 3-pointer in a 12-2 run that made it 60-48.
The Hoyas have won 11 straight against DePaul and lead the series 20-6
"Wins in this league are difficult to come by and road wins in this league are very difficult to come by, so to that extent it was a good day," Hoyas coach John Thompson III said.
"I don't like our execution down at the end on a lot of different fronts. But I don't want to take anything away from their effort ... But we made it a lot harder than it had to be."