DePaul and in-state foe Northern Illinois have experienced decidedly different starts to the young season.

The Blue Demons look to avoid a third straight defeat while trying to keep the visiting Huskies from their fifth consecutive victory on Saturday night in Chicago.

For the second time in four seasons, DePaul (1-4) has lost four of its first five. The first three of those defeats were by a combined 17 points.

That was before the Blue Demons were outscored by 13 in the second half, shot 36.2 percent and allowed San Francisco to shoot 51.7 percent overall during a 70-54 loss in the third-place game of the Cactus Division at the Arizona Tip-Off on Sunday.

DePaul is averaging just 68.2 points on the season and shot 38.8 percent while losing to South Carolina and San Francisco at the Arizona event.

"We've got to get better," Blue Demons coach Tony Stubblefield said. "It's a work in progress."

Since the start of the 1980-81 season, DePaul is 16-3 against Northern Illinois (4-1). However, these schools last met in December 2014.

The Blue Demons will see a familiar face in former star and opposing coach Rashon Burno, who starred for DePaul from 1998-2002 and has NIU off to its best start since going 7-0 in 2015-16.

The Huskies opened shooting 37.1 percent during a 92-70 loss at then-No. 5 Marquette, but have averaged 91.5 points and shot 52.9 percent in winning the next four.

Xavier Amos had 21 points and David Coit added 20 with eight rebounds and six assists as the Huskies shot 58.3 percent, including 9-for-16 from 3-point range, and held on for a 98-93 win over Arkansas Little Rock at the Capitol Classic in Atlanta last Saturday.

"I'm happy," Burno said, "but it was a learning experience, and I love teaching through winning."

Coit has scored at least 20 points in three of the last four games. DePaul's Chico Carter Jr. has totaled 39 points in the last two contests.

--Field Level Media

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