Following a promising start to the conference slate, the men’s basketball team proceeded to drop two consecutive games last week.
The first setback came at home against Big East newcomer Xavier, 84-74. The game wasn’t nearly as close as the final score indicated. The Musketeers came out firing and spotted themselves a 50-32 lead going into the break. DePaul got to within 72-65 thanks to 25 points from Cleveland Melvin, but a 9-1 Xavier run put the game away. The Blue Demons square off against Xavier again Feb. 19.
The second loss was a blowout at the hands of Seton Hall, 86-69. DePaul’s lack of depth was exposed due to the absences of three important players: Billy Garrett Jr. was out with an illness, Charles McKinney took a seat with an injury, and Cleveland Melvin rode the pine due to an undisclosed violation of team rules. The Pirates took advantage of DePaul’s shorthanded roster, roaring out to a 20-point halftime advantage and never allowing the Blue Demons to mount any kind of a comeback. The two teams hook up again Feb. 25.
While the men’s team has been struggling, the women’s team has been on an absolute tear and playing their best basketball of the year. Starting Jan. 19, coach Doug Bruno’s squad ripped off three straight wins over Villanova, Georgetown, and Butler by an average of 23.3 points.
The Blue Demons have won four consecutive games, two coming on the road against Georgetown and Butler. In the Georgetown game, DePaul had a seasonhigh 20 steals to earn a 92-69 victory. The Blue Demons outscored Georgetown 36-10 in points off of turnovers.
Megan Rogowski and Brittany Hrynko combined for 30 points, scoring 15 apiece. Chanise Jenkins also had an extremely efficient day. The sophomore guard had 13 points, seven rebounds, six assists and five steals.
Against Butler, DePaul hit 12 3-pointers as they came out on top with a 85-64 win.
DePaul is currently second in the Big East with a 6-2 conference record, 15-5 overall. They return to McGrath- Phillips Arena on Wednesday to face rival Marquette (13-5, 4-3).