CHICAGO – The University of Texas-Pan American men's basketball team dropped their 2011-12 season opening game to the DePaul Blue Demons 91-72 Friday night at the McGrath-Phillips Arena.
The Broncs (0-1) fell behind early in the first half 10-0 after a layup by Krys Faber. Brandon Provost got the Broncs on the scoreboard with back-to-back three-point field goals that made it 10-6 with 16:10 left in the half. DePaul then went on a 9-0 run that was snapped by a layup by Jesus Delgado with 11:47 left in the half that made it 19-8 Blue Demons.
Later in the half, the Blue Demons pushed their lead 32-11 on a lay up by Cleveland Melvin. The Broncs then cut in the DePaul's lead with a three-pointer from Ruben Cabrera that made it 39-23 with 4:01 left in the half. With 1:21 left in the half, Jamee Crocket made it 46-30 in favor of the Blue Demons with a three-point field goal. The Broncs then got a three-pointer from Nick Weiermiller to end the first half scoring and DePaul led 46-33 at the half.
"DePaul is very athletic and their defensive pressure bothered us a lot and we lost composure at times," said coach Ryan Marks.
In the second half, the Broncs went on an 8-2. Jared Maree knocked down a three-point field goal to get the Broncs within eight at 48-40 with 17:36 left in the game. DePaul's Worrel Clahar answered back with a three-pointer to extend the Blue Demon's lead 51-40. Jesus Delgado later cut the lead down to five with a fast break layup with 13:01 left to play but DePaul answered right back with a three-pointer by Melvin to make it 56-48.
Later in the game, the Blue Demons went on a 16-3 run to make it 72-53 with 9:19 left in the game. Moses Morgan hit another three-pointer to extend DePaul's lead to 75-55 with 6:59 left to play. Earl Jefferson hit a layup to cut the lead down to 15 at 80-65 with 3:47 in the game but the DePaul (1-0) offense was too much as they defeated the Broncs 91-72.
"I was pleased with our play for about 27 of the 40 minutes. Unfortunately, the 13 where we did not execute well, we were pretty bad," continued Marks.
Brandon Provost finished the night with 16 points and eight rebounds and was three of three from beyond the arc. Jared Maree added 14 points and Ruben Cabrera added 12 on five-of-six shooting from the floor. The Broncs shot 44% from the floor throughout the game and 35% from beyond the arc.
DePaul had six players score in double figures with Cleveland Melvin leading the way with 17 points and six rebounds. Krys Faber added 13 points with seven rebounds. The Blue Demons shot 51% from the floor while shooting 44% from beyond the arc.
The Broncs will stay in the state of Illinois and travel to Evanston to face Northwestern on Sunday with the tip-off scheduled for 8:00 p.m.