Texas 77, DePaul 59

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A step up in competition revealed DePaul to be several steps behind.
The Blue Demons left the CBE Hall of Fame Classic with two disheartening losses. Texas, without a senior and not expected to contend in the Big 12, handled DePaul 77-59 Tuesday in the Sprint Center in the third-place game.
It looked similar to DePaul's 90-72 loss to No. 12 Wichita State on Monday. In both, the Blue Demons gave up a multitude of easy baskets. Texas added to DePaul's misery with rebounding dominance, and the Longhorns did most of their damage within a foot or two of the basket. DePaul faded in both games midway through the first half.
Forward Cleveland Melvin led DePaul with 15 points, although he missed 10 of his 13 shots. Guard Brandon Young added 14 points.
Center Cameron Ridley led Texas' efforts in the lane with 19 points and eight rebounds, including five offensive boards.
Texas' zone defense kept the Blue Demons out of the lane, and DePaul couldn't make enough 3-pointers to ruin the strategy.
DePaul (3-3) trailed Texas 39-23 at the half, a reminder of Monday's 52-34 deficit against Wichita State. In neither game did DePaul make much of a rally.
The Blue Demons rarely came up with the stops needed to cut into the lead Tuesday. Texas scored on four of its first five possessions of the second half, pushing the lead to 52-32 on forward Connor Lammert's shot in the lane with 13:18 to play.
DePaul cut the lead to 65-50 with 5:05 remaining, a slim hope, but some hope. Two misses -- one an airball by guard Billy Garrett -- and a turnover allowed Texas (5-1) to rebuild its edge to 20 points.
Turnovers ruined DePaul's opportunity to build a significant lead early in the game. The Blue Demons went up 6-2, scoring on their first three possessions, but a missed shot and a turnover allowed Texas to tie the game. A 13-11 lead disappeared when DePaul gave the ball away without a shot on three consecutive possessions. Texas took a 15-13 lead on a dunk by Ridley.
Texas switched to a zone defense midway through the half and took away all DePaul's driving lanes. The Blue Demons moved the ball casually against the zone, rarely able to penetrate the lane. The Longhorns led 15-14 when it made the move, later mixing in a half-court trap, and the change sparked a 20-4 run. Ridley scored seven during the surge.
The Longhorns led 39-23 at halftime. Texas outrebounded DePaul 22-10 before the break and scored 13 second-chance points off 10 offensive rebounds. Add in a number of layups and dunks created by the offense, and Texas scored 26 first-half points in the lane.
NOTES: DePaul G Brandon Young played in his 100th career game. He scored 14 points to reach 1,471 for his career and move into 11th place on the school's all-time list, passing Howie Carl (1,461) and Curtis Watkins (1,463). ... DePaul trailed by an average of 17 points in the first half of its CBE Hall of Fame Classic games. ... The Blue Demons turned the ball over nine times in the first half, leading to 13 points for Texas.