DePaul Begins Cancun Challenge in Rosemont :: Blue Demons host Gardner-Webb at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Allstate Arena DePaul Begins Cancun Challenge in Rosemont

Nov. 14, 2012

Gardner-Webb Gameday Article

Game Notes: DePaul Get Acrobat Reader | Gardner-Webb Get Acrobat Reader
Radio: WSCR 670 AM
Online Audio/Video: BlueTube
Live Stats: GameTracker

CHICAGO - DePaul starts play in the Cancun Challenge with two home games at Allstate Arena. The Blue Demons host Gardner-Webb on Thursday followed by Austin Peay on Saturday before heading south to the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun, Mexico for the final two games next week. DePaul and Gardner-Webb are scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start in Rosemont in the first Allstate Arena game of the season for the Blue Demons.

Thursday's game can be heard on WSCR 670 The Score in Chicagoland with Zach Zaidman (play-by-play) and Jeff Blanzy (analyst) calling all the action. The audio feed along with streaming video will be available on BlueTube at www.depaulbluedemons.com and DePaul’s mobile app. Live stats can be found on GameTracker at www.depaulbluedemons.com and in-game scoring updates and notes can be followed as well at www.twitter.com/depaulsid.

DePaul opened the season with a 91-59 win over UC Riverside at McGrath-Phillips Arena on Nov. 9. Gardner-Webb stands at 1-1 with a game on Wednesday night against Lipscomb before traveling to Chicago for Thursday’s game with DePaul. DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell is in his third season at DePaul and his 25th as a head coach at the collegiate level.

Following the Gardner-Webb game, DePaul plays the second of two home games in the Cancun Challenge when Austin Peay visits Rosemont. The Blue Demons and Governors tangle at 1 p.m. on Saturday before the teams head to Cancun. The Austin Peay game can be heard on WSCR 670 The Score while both games in Mexico will be available online.

Cancun Challenge Information: The 2012 Cancun Challenge is in its fifth year and is owned and produced by Triple Crown Sports out of Fort Collins, Colo. DePaul is one of four teams in the Riviera Division with Iowa, Western Kentucky and Wichita State. Each team in the Riviera Division will host two teams from the Mayan Division (Austin Peay, Gardner-Webb, Howard, Western Carolina) in the United States before all eight teams travel to Cancun.

DePaul hosts Gardner-Webb (Nov. 15) and Austin Peay (Nov. 17) before taking on Wichita State in the third game at the Galactic Ballroom at the Moon Palace Resort on Tuesday, Nov. 20. The Blue Demons then face either Iowa or Western Kentucky on Wednesday, Nov. 21 before returning to Chicago on Thanksgiving Day.

Season-Opening Notes: DePaul opened the season with a 91-59 win over UC Riverside at McGrath-Phillips Arena... the 32-point margin of victory was just the fourth season-opening win of 30-plus points in the last 25 seasons... DePaul has scored 91 points in each of the last two season openers... the Blue Demons posted a 91-72 win over UT-Pan American to start the 2011-12 campaign... the Blue Demons are 79-11 all-time in the first game... DePaul has won five straight season openers after a three-game losing streak in first games from 2005-08... the UC Riverside game was the fourth all-time season opener at McGrath-Phillips Arena.

Noting the Blue Demons: The men’s basketball program is 1,385-880 (.612) all-time... the Blue Demons have knocked down at least one three-pointer in 580 straight games... DePaul’s last game without a three was Feb. 16, 1993 against UAB at Allstate Arena... the Blue Demons are 311-141 (.688) all-time at Allstate Arena... DePaul is 7-1 (.875) all-time in games at McGrath-Phillips Arena... the Blue Demons currently hold a seven-game winning streak against Chicagoland programs that includes victories over Chicago State, UIC, Loyola and Northern Illinois... in each of Oliver Purnell’s two seasons at DePaul, the Blue Demons have faced three Chicagoland opponents during the non-conference portion of the schedule with wins in each meeting.

The Opponent - Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs: Gardner-Webb stands at 1-1 after two games with a 76-59 loss at North Carolina (Nov. 9) and a 77-39 win over Covenant (Nov. 10)... the Runnin’ Bulldogs host Lipscomb on Wednesday night before traveling to Chicago to play DePaul on Thursday... Gardner-Webb went 12-20 last season with a 6-12 record in the Big South... seven players return from that teams including five that started games... senior guard Tashan Newsome was a preseason second team All-Big South pick... head coach Chris Holtmann is in his third season leading the Gardner-Webb program.

The Series: Thursday is the first meeting between the two programs.

The Last Meeting: Thursday is the first meeting between the two programs.

Against the Big South: DePaul is 1-1 all-time against the current lineup of Big South programs... the Blue Demons are 1-0 against Liberty and 0-1 against VMI.

It Could Happen: Cleveland Melvin needs 13 points to move into 50th place on DePaul’s all-time scoring list... he enters Thursday’s game with 943 points and is 12 behind 50th-place Mike Gillespie (955, 1971-74)... Brandon Young (267 assists) needs three assists to pass Jermaine Watts (269, 1994-98) for 21st place on the all-time assists chart... a win makes DePaul 2-0 for the second straight season and the fourth time in the last five years.

Demon Doings: Notes following DePaul’s 91-59 win against UC Riverside on Nov. 9:
- DePaul is 79-11 all-time in season openers... the Blue Demons have won five straight first games... DePaul is now 7-1 all-time at McGrath-Phillips Arena.
- Three-point streak extended to 580 straight games... DePaul’s last game without a three was Feb. 16, 1993 against UAB at Allstate Arena.
- The DePaul bench outscored the UCR bench by a 33-10 margin... DePaul also added 37 points off 24 Highlander turnovers.
- Derrell Robertson Jr. grabbed a career-best seven boards... previous career-high was five on Feb. 20, 2012 at St. John’s.
- Cleveland Melvin set a new career high with five steals against the Highlanders... his previous high was three on two occasions.
- Melvin reached double-figures for the 49th time in 59 career games... he now has 943 points moved him into 51st on DePaul’s all-time scoring list.
- Brandon Young’s posted his 45th career game in double-figures... he’s reached at least 20 points for the 14th time in his career.
- The 32-point margin of victory marked just the fourth time in the last 25 season openers that DePaul won by at least 30 points. Friday’s margin was the fourth-highest in the last 25 years.
    - DePaul 105, Howard 61 (+44) on Nov. 20, 1999
    - DePaul 103, Chicago State 68 (+35) on Dec. 1, 1992
    - DePaul 114, Chicago State 81 (+33) on Nov. 14, 2010
    - DePaul 91, UC Riverside 59 (+32) on Nov. 9, 2012
- DePaul scored 91 points in both its exhibition win and the game against UC Riverside. In the exhibition game, the Blue Demons defeated Lewis by a 91-74 score... the Blue Demons also scored 91 points in the 2011-12 regular-season opener against UT-Pan American.

Three Decades in Rosemont: DePaul is in its 33rd season in 2012-13 at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill. The Blue Demons are 311-141 (.688) all-time in Rosemont. DePaul played its first season at the then-named Rosemont Horizon in 1980. The Blue Demons debuted in Rosemont with a 74-56 win over Gonzaga and John Stockton on Dec. 1, 1980.

Who’s Next: DePaul continues Cancun Challenge play against Austin Peay at Allstate Arena on Saturday, Nov. 17... the Governors are 1-1 with a 75-64 win over Samford (Nov. 9) and a 75-54 loss at Western Kentucky (Nov. 13)... the loss at Western Kentucky was the first game of the Cancun Challenge... Austin Peay went 12-20 overall and 8-8 in the Ohio Valley Conference last season... the Blue Demons and Governors meet for the first time on Saturday.