Blue Demons build big lead in Big East opener
ROSEMONT, Ill. – After a disastrous nonconference season, Cliff Clinkscales and his DePaul teammates were more than ready to get the Big East portion of the season under way.
Draelon Burns scored 20 and Karron Clarke added 14 points as the Blue Demons upset No. 17 Villanova 84-76 on Thursday night in the conference opener for both teams.
“We got a fresh start. It’s a new season for us so we’re trying to look like a whole new team,” Clinkscales said. “We aren’t worried about our record. We have 17 games to go now so anything can happen. You are never out of it. You judge a season at the end of the season.”
The Blue Demons (5-7), who had the worst nonconference record among the 16 conference schools, opened an 18-8 lead on a 3-pointer by Clinkscales. They extended it to 40-25 with 14 seconds left in the half on Clarke’s alley-oop dunk off an inbounds play from the baseline.
Villanova didn’t start a senior and its inexperience showed as it never got into a rhythm.
“It almost kind of crept up on us,” said Villanova’s Dante Cunningham, who had 16 points. “We just kept battling and ran out of time.”
Burns hit a 3 to start an 11-2 run early in the second half that gave DePaul a 53-38 lead with 14:27 left.
Burns then gave DePaul its biggest lead when he stole the ball and finished with a layup to make it 60-44 with 8:42 left.
“We wanted to make a statement to our Big East competitors that we aren’t pushovers,” Burns said.
No. 2 Memphis 102, Siena 58: At Memphis, Tenn., Jeff Robinson scored 20 points and Chris Douglas-Roberts added 19 to lead Memphis.
Joey Dorsey hit all five of his shots, scored 12 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked four shots for the Tigers (12-0), who won their 39th straight home game.
No. 10 Marquette 96, Providence 67: At Milwaukee, Dominic James scored 21 points and Lazar Hayward added 17 for the Golden Eagles in the Big East opener for both teams.
Marquette (11-1) won its seventh straight game because it was too fast and too deep for Providence (9-4), which had a four-game winning streak snapped. The Friars were missing starting point guard Sharaud Curry and backup Dwain Williams becauses of injuries.
No. 15 Vanderbilt 76, Rice 58: At Nashville, Tenn., Shan Foster had 24 points and five rebounds and Vanderbilt remained undefeated.
The Commodores (14-0) forced a season-high 24 turnovers and extended the best start in the program’s 108-year history. Vanderbilt won its first 12 games in 2003-04 en route to the regional semifinals of the NCAA Tournament.
Women’s top 25
VILLANOVA, Pa. – Tina Charles had 19 points and 11 rebounds and Mel Thomas added 16 points, leading top-ranked Connecticut (12-0) to an 88-38 victory over Villanova on Thursday night in the Big East opener for the teams.
No. 5 Maryland 83, Wake Forest 49: At Winston-Salem, N.C., Crystal Langhorne had 15 points and 10 rebounds, leading Maryland (17-1) to a win in its Atlantic Coast Conference opener.
No. 11 LSU 73, Florida St. 61: At Tallahassee, Fla., Quianna Chaney scored 18 of her career-high 27 points in the first half for LSU (11-3).
No. 12 Duke 82, NC Central 29: At Durham, N.C., Chante Black did not miss a shot in scoring 17 points for Duke (11-3).
No. 13 Texas A&M 84, Stephen F. Austin 53: At College Station, Texas, Morenike Atunrase scored 22 points in her best game since returning from an injury last month, helping Texas A&M (12-2).
No. 20 George Washington 68, No. 18 Auburn 66: At Auburn, Ala., Lisa Steele made a 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds remaining to give George Washington (11-3) a win over Auburn.
No. 21 Ohio State 66, Michigan 42: At Columbus, Ohio, freshman center Jantel Lavender scored 14 points and had a game-high 12 rebounds to lead Ohio State (10-3, 1-1).
No. 22 Wyoming 53, San Francisco 51: At San Francisco, Hanna Zavecz hit a jumper at the buzzer and Wyoming (12-1) won.