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PREVIEW: DePaul returns home to face Youngstown St.

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(Konrad Markowski/The DePaulia)

(Konrad Markowski/The DePaulia)

(Konrad Markowski/The DePaulia)


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After over two and a half weeks away from home, DePaul (2-4) returns to Wintrust arena to host Youngstown State (2-6) Saturday afternoon at Wintrust Arena at 1 p.m CT.

The Blue Demons return to the Windy City off an 82-69 victory over Portland Sunday evening to close out the PK80 Invitational.

The win over Portland snapped a three-game losing streak for Head Coach Dave Leitao’s squad, coming off losses to Illinois, No. 3 Michigan State and Oregon.

The Blue Demons will look to build off the win when they host the Penguins, who are also off to a slow start to the year.

In order to do this, putting together another consistent 40-minute performance will be key for a squad that has had good and bad stretches in all four of their losses.

Part of this improved consistency has centered around getting Blue Demons center Marin Maric more involved as he had 41 points and 17 rebounds while shooting 60 percent from the field in the final two games of the Invitational. Prior to that, Maric had just 29 points in the Blue Demons previous four games.

The 6-foot-11-inch DePaul center will also have the opportunity to take advantage of a smaller lineup for the Penguins that only has one player over 6’7 contributing more than 15 minutes per game.

The Blue Demons also hope Max Strus found his stroke after a 21-point performance against Portland. After making just 10 of 38 three-pointers in his first five games, Strus converted six-of-11 three-pointers on his way to his first 20-point performance as a Blue Demon.

While the Penguins are just 2-6 on the year, they do have a couple guards that will be key to slow down if the Blue Demons hope to win their second straight.

Jeremiah Ferguson is a shifty point guard that uses his speed well to penetrate the defense and create opportunities for himself near the basket. Ferguson has seen his minutes increase to just over 20 per game, with fellow guard Francisco Santiago battling a knee injury.

Youngstown St. leading scorer Cameron Morse is coming off a tough night against Robert Morris, but still leads the team in scoring, averaging just over 15 points per game.

Like DePaul, the Penguins have struggled from behind the arc shooting just 30 percent on the season while converting only 6 threes per game. The Blue Demons also come in shooting only 30 percent, however, they did heat up against Portland hitting 12 threes while shooting 48 percent from behind the arc.

Defensively, one of the major ways the Penguins create opportunities is forcing turnovers by employing a full and half court press to speed the game up. Early this season opponents averaging over 20 turnovers per game as a result of this pressure. DePaul has done a nice job in this area limiting their turnovers early in the season to just over 10 per game.

If the Blue Demons are able to limit turnovers and defend like they have early this season, it will go a long way towards picking up their second straight win and inching closer to the .500 mark.

When: Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 at 1:00 p.m CT

Where: Wintrust Arena

How to Watch: FSN

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The Student News Site of DePaul University
PREVIEW: DePaul returns home to face Youngstown St.