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 (4-3) «||42||38||80|
|DePaul Blue Demons|
|C. Melvin, F||34||6-10||9-13||10||2||2||21|
|D. Kirk, F||25||2-3||2-3||3||1||4||7|
|B. Young, G||35||5-13||5-7||3||5||2||19|
|C. McKinney, G||25||3-8||0-2||5||3||3||6|
|D. McDonald, G||23||2-5||0-2||2||1||3||5|
|D. Robertson Jr.||15||2-4||0-0||3||0||4||4|
|N. Johnson, F||32||4-11||0-0||4||0||3||10|
|A. Payne, F||22||4-6||0-0||3||0||2||8|
|R. Chubb, C||25||8-12||1-4||13||1||4||17|
|F. Sullivan, G||38||9-17||6-6||4||5||3||28|
|J. Price, G||23||1-7||0-1||1||3||2||2|
|B. Greene Jr.||14||1-5||0-0||0||0||4||2|