for this game

DePaul hands Marquette another Big East setback

Feb 15, 2007 - 6:40 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Sammy Mejia and DePaul have posted yet another impressive home victory.

Mejia scored 18 points and the Blue Demons held on for a 72-67 victory over No. 13 Marquette in a Big East Conference matchup.

DePaul (15-11, 6-6 Big East) is 11-2 at home this season with wins over Notre Dame, Kansas and now Marquette.

"I thought our last game against Notre Dame really helped us, with that also being a close game and us winning it, we were more relaxed," DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright said. "The last two games were must wins and good teams build on success. We have to continue to do that."

Wilson Chandler had 14 points and 11 rebounds and Marcus Heard added 14 points for the Blue Demons, who won despite shooting 30 percent (8-of-27) from the field in the second half.

"We came out and just matched their intensity, that was the difference maker," Mejia said. "We are a part of the season where we can make a push to get to the top half of the Big East. If we stay poised and stay focused, the sky is the limit for us."

Marquette (21-6, 8-4) had its season-high eight-game winning streak snapped with a 76-58 thrashing at Georgetown on Saturday and was unable to right the ship against DePaul.

Dominic James scored 17 points and Jerel McNeal had 16 for the Golden Eagles, who shot 39 percent (25-of-64) from the field and made just 11-of-21 free throws.

Draelon Burns made two free throws to give DePaul a 70-67 lead with 26 seconds left. On the ensuing possession Marquette never got into its offense before James put up a long 3-point attempt that missed everything.

Mejia made 1-of-2 free throws and James missed another 3-pointer before Karron Clarke made one free throw with two seconds left.

"Teams expect you to take a timeout in that situation and Coach wanted one and didn't get it, so we tried to catch them off guard," James said. "We had the shots but didn't knock them down."