Blue Demons fall in OT against St. John’s

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In their second meeting of the season, DeÎ_Paul and St. John’s battled to a 69-69 tie to head to overtime, before the Red Storm outlasted the Blue Demons in a 79-74 overtime decision Wednesday night. Brandon Young led four in double-figure scoring with a game-high 21 points (9-18 FG), while Cleveland Melvin added a quiet 10 points and 13 rebounds for his fifth double-double this season.

DePaul (10-10, 1-6) trailed by just seven at halftime, then started the second half by chipÎ_ping away at the lead. Young hit a couple crucial three-pointers, including one from straight away that tied the score at 58-58 with 7:14 left.

Over the final seven minutes, the Blue DeÎ_mons traded baskets with the Red Storm, neither team running away with a distinct advantage. Despite coming away with a commanding 52-39 rebounding edge, and scoring 22 points off second chance opportunities as opposed to 10 by St. John’s, DePaul couldn’t build a run and take a decisive lead.

D’Angelo Harrison, the second-leading scorer in the Big East, scored 17 points for St. John’s but fouled out with 3:45 remaining. DeÎ_Paul went to the line to take a two-point lead, but St. John’s came back to tie down the stretch.

In the extra period, Young’s driving layup in the lane gave the Blue Demons a two-point adÎ_vantage with 2:48 left before Sir’Dominic PointÎ_er tied the game on the Red Storm’s next posÎ_session. Over the final two minutes, St. John’s scored six straight points for the 79-74 final. A crucial turning point came with less than a minÎ_ute remaining, as Pointer raced down the court with the ball after a Young miss on the other end. Pointer rose for a dunk from outside the paint, but was fouled hard by Young from behind, awarded two free shots and the ball for falling victime to the flagrant foul.

Young added five assists and three rebounds to his 21 points while Melvin went 6-for-6 from the free throw line, despite an inefficient 2-of-11 from the field. Jamee Crockett added 14 points and six rebounds and Moses Morgan scored 13 with five boards off the bench. Donnavan Kirk blocked five shots while adding six points and six rebounds for a solid all-around game.

As a team, the Blue Demons went 18-for-20 from the free throw line, as opposed to St. John‘s leaving 10 points at the stripe, shooting just 17-27.

St. John’s (14-7, 6-3 BIG EAST) got 13 apiece from JaKarr Samspon and Phil Greene, and took sole possession of third place in the Big East Conference.