The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 9, 5 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Allstate Arena (17,500) -- Rosemont, Illinois. Television: None. Home Record: Milwaukee 3-1, DePaul 3-1. Away Record: Milwaukee 0-3, DePaul 2-0. Neutral Record: Milwaukee 0-2, DePaul 0-1. Conference Record: Milwaukee 0-0, DePaul 0-0. Series Record: DePaul leads, 10-1.
GAME NOTES: The DePaul Blue Demons aim for their fourth win in a row on Sunday as they clash with the Milwaukee Panthers in non-conference play at Allstate Arena.
Since opening the 2012-13 campaign with only two wins in five tries, the Blue Demons have hit a hot streak with three consecutive victories. First it was an 85-78 decision over Fairfield, which was followed by another close call, an 80-76 triumph versus Auburn on the road. Most recently the team handed Chicago State a 74-64 setback on Wednesday on the road.
As for the Panthers, they've won a total of just three games in nine chances and not one of them has come away from home. The team came up empty twice on a neutral floor and has also been defeated three times in enemy territory. The good news for Milwaukee is that the team finally put an end to a five-game slide on Friday with an 80-73 overtime decision against Northern Illinois.
DePaul comes into this meeting having won all but one of the previous 11 encounters in the series. The good news for the Panthers is their first only win over the Blue Demons came last year around this time in this same building by a score of 87-76.
Four of the five starters for the Panthers scored in double figures two nights ago against Northern Illinois, with Paris Gulley leading the way with 21 points on 5-of-12 shooting behind the three-point line. Kyle Kelm accounted for 15 points, followed by James Haarsma and Jordan Aaron who both delivered 14 points, the latter also handing out 11 assists in order to keep the offense rolling along as well as offset his disappointing 3-of-13 showing from the floor. Aaron, a starter in all nine games, has stepped up a big way for the Panthers with his 16.6 ppg and 42 assists, but clearly he needs much more help in order to get this team into the win column and that's where Gulley comes in. Now in his second season in Milwaukee, Gulley missed the first six games of the campaign with a broken hand but has since come on strong with 20.3 ppg in order to take some of the pressure off Aaron.
DePaul went into the meeting with Chicago State the other night with a perfect 10-0 mark all-time against the squad, but the Blue Demons trailed by a 44-30 score at the break against a foe that entered the contest with a record of 2-7 on the campaign. DePaul's fortunes turned around in the second half as the team managed to pick up the 10-point win which means the squad has now defeated eight straight opponents from the Windy City. Brandon Young scored a game-high 21 points and handed out six assists, while Cleveland Melvin registered a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, followed by Worrel Clahar, who came off the bench to deliver 11 points and nine boards of his own. Melvin is clearly the leader on offense, with gaudy numbers, averaging 19.5 ppg and 8.8 rpg. Young (17.3 ppg, 35 assists) is by no means a slouch as he closes in on a couple of milestones for the program. Young now needs just 19 points to become the 48th player in program history with 1,000 and he is also three assists shy of 300.
As long as Melvin and Young can again be the catalysts for the Blue Demons on offense and the defense for the hosts doesn't completely disappear, this is a game that DePaul should win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: DePaul 66, Milwaukee 62
12/09 10:31:31 ET