MILWAUKEE (AP) - DePaul coach Oliver Purnell is seeing improvement in his struggling team.
Unfortunately, it was not enough Saturday as the Blue Demons put up a good fight, before taking their eighth straight loss, 89-78 to No. 24 Marquette.
Purnell said he was proud of his players' effort as they stayed close to Marquette until late in the second half, but not the final score.
``In order to be proud of both, we all have to do a little more,'' he said. ``Everyone has to look in the mirror and do a little more. It's that simple. We have to come back and prepare and fight.''
Purnell said DePaul (10-13, 1-9 Big East) was hurt by Marquette's offensive rebounding. Of the 24 shots the Golden Eagles missed, Purnell said they got the rebound on 12 of them.
``That really hurt us in the second half when we couldn't come up with the rebound,'' he said. ``We made some shots and got close, but couldn't get it done in the end.''
Brandon Young had 21 points and six assists for DePaul, while Worrel Clahar tied a career high and Donnavan Kirk set a career high with 16 points each.
Clahar said it was not time to celebrate moral victories.
``We are right there, we just got to get over the hump,'' he said. ``They worked well as a unit. They buy into the system and get the job done as a unit.''
Young said the Blue Demons have to stay positive, despite the losing streak.
``We don't let any negative energy come into our team,'' he said. ``From start to finish, Coach tells us he wants us to fight hard for 40 minutes. If we do that, he won't be mad at us.''
Vander Blue scored 18 points to lead Marquette (17-5, 8-2), which won for the 22nd straight time at home, the fifth-longest streak in the nation. Junior Cadougan added 17 points.
Marquette coach Buzz Williams said his team is improving and has the potential to be very successful as the season moves into March. The only hiccup was a 70-51 loss to Louisville on Feb. 3.
``With each passing game, minus Louisville, we've continued to improve,'' he said. ``We are trending in the right direction, but I know there is an avalanche coming at us in the next 25 days.
``In my time at Marquette, this will be the wildest finish across the country. There's so much volatility right now in college basketball.''
Marquette must still play Syracuse, Notre Dame and Georgetown, all ranked in the Top 25.
DePaul fought back midway through the second half to cut the score 64-59 when Montray Clemens grabbed a rebound and scored with 9:40 remaining. But Marquette's Todd Mayo scored the next four points including a rebound and layin with 8:32 remaining to make it 68-59.
Clahar scored eight of DePaul's next 10 points, including two long 3-pointers, to cut Marquette's lead to 77-73 with 4:43 remaining.
Marquette went inside to Davonte Gardner, who scored on a short jumper and was fouled. He hit the free throw to give Marquette an 80-73 lead with 4:28 remaining.
Trent Lockett then block Jamee Crockett's short jumper and Blue hit two free throws and Jamil Wilson nailed a 3-pointer with 2:31 remaining to give Marquette an 85-73 lead.
DePaul's Peter Ryckbosch fouled out after playing just 6 minutes.

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