Nov. 30, 2012
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Cleveland Melvin scored 21 points and made a steal and two free throws late to lift DePaul to an 80-76 victory over Auburn Friday night in the SEC/Big East Challenge.
Melvin swiped a pass from Rob Chubb as the Tigers tried to set up for at least a tying basket. He drove for a layup with 13 seconds left but was fouled by Noel Johnson and put the game away for the Blue Demons (4-3). Brandon Young scored 19 points and had five assists for DePaul, which has won two straight games.
Melvin made 9 of 13 free-throw attempts and had 10 rebounds to follow up a 30-point game against Fairfield. Worrel Clahar hit two second-half 3-pointers and had 11 points.
Frankie Sullivan scored a career-high 28 points for Auburn (2-5), which has lost four in a row. Chubb had 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Sullivan, who had 20 first-half points, also dished out five assists. He made his first four 3-pointers before missing his last three against a trapping, pressing defense that frequently denied him the ball in the second half.
Johnson added 10 points.
DePaul shot 50 percent (12 of 24) in the second half to overcome a 19 of 33 performance from the free-throw line.
The Tigers went cold as the Blue Demons turned up the defensive heat, making just 12 of 31 shots (38.7 percent) after halftime.
Johnson hit two 3-pointers to tie the game at 72 with 3:33 left.
Then Melvin hit 1 of 2 free throws and Clahar drilled a 3-pointer with 2:15 to play. Auburn twice cut it to two points after that, the second time on a Sullivan drive with a minute left.
The Blue Demons pushed the ball across midcourt before calling timeout. Young drove along the baseline and fired a pass to the opposite side to Melvin, who missed a 3-pointer.
He made sure DePaul got the ball back before Auburn could attempt a shot, when Chubb got caught with the ball around the 3-point line.
Auburn had led 46-42 at halftime after Sullivan made two technical foul free throws with a minute left. Young had made a 3-pointer but then was called for a technical for taunting Auburn students.
- DePaul is now 1-2 all-time in the annual event between the BIG EAST and SEC... the win snapped an eight-game losing streak against SEC programs... Friday was the first meeting between DePaul and Auburn.
- The Blue Demons are 13-3 under Oliver Purnell when scoring 80 or more points.
- Cleveland Melvin posted his second double-double of the season (ninth career)... it is his second double-double in the last three games... Melvin has reached double-figures in 21 consecutive games.
- Melvin's 21 points move him into a tie for 43rd on DePaul's all-time scoring list with Gene Stump (1943-47)... Melvin has 1,071 career points.
- Brandon Young passed Mike Gillespie (1971-74) for 51st place... Young has 960 points... he needs 40 points to become the 48th player in program history with 1,000 career points... Young's streak of games in double-figures was extended to 11 games.
- Young has attempted at least four free throws in six straight games.