The DePaulia

Pirates attack Wintrust Arena on Sunday afternoon

Seton+Hall+guard+Khadeen+Carrington%2C+right%2C+drives+against+DePaul+guard+Brandon+Cyrus+during+the+first+half+of+an+NCAA+college+basketball+game+Saturday%2C+Feb.+25%2C+2017%2C+in+Rosemont%2C+Ill.+%28AP+Photo%2FNam+Y.+Huh%29
Seton Hall guard Khadeen Carrington, right, drives against DePaul guard Brandon Cyrus during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, in Rosemont, Ill. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Seton Hall guard Khadeen Carrington, right, drives against DePaul guard Brandon Cyrus during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, in Rosemont, Ill. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

AP

AP

Seton Hall guard Khadeen Carrington, right, drives against DePaul guard Brandon Cyrus during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, in Rosemont, Ill. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)


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Riding a wave of momentum after a 74-73 win at Georgetown on Wednesday night, the DePaul Blue Demons (9-11; 2-6) return to Wintrust Arena Sunday at 3 p.m. to defend their home turf against the Seton Hall Pirates (15-5; 4-3).

With the win on Wednesday, the Blue Demons have matched their conference win total from a season ago (two) and still have ten Big East matchups remaining before conference play concludes. The Blue Demons dropped both matchups against Seton Hall last season and have lost four-straight games against the Pirates. Seton Hall holds a 14-6 advantage in the all-time series between the two teams.

After winning their first three Big East contests, the Pirates have dropped three of four games and come off a 73-64 loss against the Butler Bulldogs last Saturday. This stretch has dropped the Pirates out of both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Poll after they were ranked No. 19 in both last week. However, the Pirates remain No. 36 in the Ken Pomeroy rankings and are on track to make their third consecutive NCAA tournament appearance under eighth-year head coach Kevin Willard.

The headliner for Seton Hall is senior center Angel Delgado. He averages 13.4 points per game on 49.1 percent from the field and averages 11.7 rebounds per contest. He is one of two players in the Big East (Jessie Govan of Georgetown) who averages a double-double, and he leads the conference in total rebounding and offensive rebounding (he has pulled down 85 offensive boards this season while second place on that list has 58 offensive boards).

Delgado is fourth in the NCAA in rebounds per game and is sixth in the country in offensive rebounds per game. Delgado’s elite offensive rebounding numbers have carried the Pirates to a tie for the most offensive rebounds per game in the conference (12.8). The Pirates check in at No. 3 in the Big East in rebounding margin with a +4.7 and are sixth in defensive rebounds per game.

Outside of Delgado, the Pirates have three other double-digits scorers. Senior forward Desi Rodriguez leads Pirate scorers with 17.6 points per game, on an efficient 50.4 percent from the field. Second-leading scorer Myles Powell leads the team with a 41.1 percent 3-point shooting percentage. Otherwise, the Pirates are just average (35.6 percent) from long distance.

The matchup Sunday pins the two best offensive rebounding teams in the Big East (by offensive rebounds per game) against each other (both the Blue Demons and Pirates are tied at 12.8 per game). The Blue Demons hit the offensive glass more by committee rather than relying heavily on one player like the Pirates do with Delgado. Graduate senior center Marin Maric averages 2.2 offensive boards per game to lead the way for the Blue Demons with four other DePaul players averaging at least 1.5 offensive boards per game.

In a warmup to facing Delgado of sorts, the Blue Demons held Georgetown’s 6-foot-10-inch center Jessie Govan to five points and five rebounds in the win on Wednesday (Govan is 11th in the Big East in scoring and second in rebounding). A similar effort against Delgado on Sunday could go a long way towards securing a Blue Demon victory.

Another heroic effort from junior guard Eli Cain would also go a long way towards a Blue Demon win. Cain hit the game-winning field goal with seven seconds remaining against Georgetown and ended the night with a season-high 27 points on 10-for-15 from the field.

CBS Sports Network will air the game with Dave Ryan (play-by-play) and Steve Wolf (color) on the call. Zach Zaidman (play-by-play) and Dave Corzine (analyst) will have the call on the radio at WSCR 670 AM.

 

 

 

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Pirates attack Wintrust Arena on Sunday afternoon