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Beleaguered DePaul Perseveres Past Pirates


ROSEMONT, IL (AP) — Andre Brown scored 20 points and DePaul jumped out early Saturday to beat East Carolina 62-51.

During the game, a small group of fans walked out to protest the state of the men's basketball program at DePaul.

A loose coalition of people unhappy with coach Pat Kennedy organized the boycott through the Internet and e-mail, and about 50 of the announced 4,651 fans in the Allstate Arena participated.

After making the NIT and then the NCAA tournament in Kennedy's second and third seasons, DePaul has gone 21-31 the last two, and is in danger of missing the Conference USA tournament.

The Blue Demons (9-13, 2-8 in C-USA) won for the first time in six games since beating East Carolina on January 23.

``The fans who have a problem, it's their problem, quite frankly,'' Kennedy said. ``The people who support DePaul will continue to do it.''

DePaul led 36-23 at halftime as East Carolina shot 31 percent from the field and made 10 turnovers.

Rashon Burno and Sam Hoskin each hit 3-pointers as the Blue Demons opened up a 44-25 lead, and East Carolina didn't get closer than eight after that.

Bryan Foxx scored 14 points to pace East Carolina (8-15, 2-9).

With about four minutes left in the first half — and DePaul ahead 29-12 — disgruntled fans grabbed their coats and walked out in a single-file line, many of them chanting ``Pat must go! and Bradshaw, too!'' in reference to DePaul
athletic director Bill Bradshaw.

``I really didn't notice them,'' Bradshaw said.

The walkout caught the attention of Burno, the team captain, who later grabbed the public address microphone after the final buzzer to thank those who stayed.

Burno, who had seven points, eight assists and five steals, said if some fans wanted to give up on the team, it was their prerogative.

``People do things for their own individual reasons,'' Burno said. ``I've been dealing with adversity all my life. But the coaching staff has stuck with us. Nobody has given up.

``I was speaking for the whole team and coaching staff. I wanted to let them know we appreciate the fans who do support DePaul.''

The team has also endured a rash of suspensions, including guard Imari Sawyer, who missed his third straight game because of academic violations.

Michael Orzoff of Chicago, a former season ticket holder, attended his first game in two years just so he could get up and leave.

``I wouldn't go to games, because I have yet to see where they play hard for 40 minutes,'' said Orzoff, who graduated from DePaul Law School in 1997. ``We're still waiting. It's the coaching.''

Box Score

DePaul 62, East Carolina 51


Bing 4-12 0-0 8, Mikulas 3-10 0-0 6, Badiane 1-4 1-2 3, Brown 2-7 4-5 8, Holcomb-Faye 0-6 0-0 0, Foxx 5-7 1-1 14, Hawkins 2-5 0-0 6, Boddie 2-6 0-0 6, Moore 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-58 6-8 51.

DEPAUL (9-13)

Brown 8-12 4-4 20, Williams 3-8 2-3 8, Brooks 1-5 3-4 5, Seals 2-3 0-0 4, Burno 1-5 4-6 7, Tulley 0-0 0-0 0, Hoskin 1-3 4-5 6, Diener 3-7 2-2 10, Greer 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 20-45 19-24 62.

Halftime -- DePaul 36, E. Carolina 23.

3-Point goals -- E. Carolina 7-24 (Bing 0-6, Brown 0-1, Holcomb-Faye 0-4, Foxx 3-5, Hawkins 2-5, Boddie 2-3); DePaul 3-12 (Brooks 0-3, Seals 0-1, Burno 1-3, Diener 2-5).

Rebounds -- E. Carolina 30 (Mikulas 8); DePaul 37 (Williams 11).

Assists -- E. Carolina 11 (Holcomb-Faye, Boddie 3); DePaul 15 (Burno 8).

Total fouls -- E. Carolina 21, DePaul 14.

Fouled out -- None.

Attendance -- 4,651.

02/23/2007 10:59:34 AM

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