DePaul downs Wright State 81-72
Cleveland Melvin scored 23 points to lead DePaul to an 81-72 victory over Wright State on Saturday in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic.
Brandon Young added 14 points, Tommy Hamilton had 13 and Billy Garrett had 12 for the Blue Demons (2-1).
J.T. Yoho led Wright State with 13 points. Matt Vest and A.J. Pacher each had 11 points. The Raiders (1-2) shot 50 percent to DePaul's 55 percent.
The Raiders led by as much as nine points but weren't able to put away the Blue Demons. Young hit a jumper with 4:16 remaining for a 69-68 DePaul lead, the Blue Demons' first lead since late in the first half.
Charles McKinney then stole the ball on the inbounds pass and fed it to Young for a layup and 71-68 DePaul lead.
A pair of free throws and a jumper by Melvin and a free throw by Hamilton increased the lead to six with 2:06 remaining.
DePaul went 6 of 8 at the foul line in the final minutes and Melvin dunked in the final seconds to seal the victory. The Blue Demons went
28 of 36 at the free-throw line.
Each team committed 19 turnovers.
Wright State was picked to finish second behind Green Bay in the Horizon League. The Raiders went 23-13 last season, and coach Billy Donlon was the conference coach of the year.
DePaul went 11-21 last season.
Wright State had a chance to try to pull away after two Blue Demon technical fouls.
DePaul's Sandi Marcius received a technical foul after he dunked and stared down Wright State's Miles Dixon with the Raiders ahead 40-35.
Yoho hit one of two free throws, and the Raiders extended their lead to 44-35 on Kendall Griffin's 3-pointer.
The Blue Demons tied it 52-52 on Melvin's two free throws with 13:28 left, capping a 17-8 run. Vest answered with a layup and a foul shot to give Wright State the lead again, and Yoho hit a layup for a five-point margin.
After DePaul pulled to within three, Young was called for a travel with 11:41 left. He slammed the basketball standard in frustration and received a technical foul, DePaul's second. Yoho made one of two free throws for a 58-54 Wright State lead.
The Raiders led 35-33 at halftime. DePaul shot 50 percent from the field but committed 15 turnovers. Wright State converted those turnovers into 14 points. The Raiders shot 44 percent.
Wright State scored the game's first eight points before missing its next four shots. DePaul tied it 8-8 on Melvin's three-pointer with 14:08 left before halftime. The Raiders went scoreless for more than six minutes before Vest hit a three-pointer with 12:00 remaining before intermission.
It was the first meeting between the teams.
Wright State lost to another Big East team in its previous game, an 88-70 defeat to Georgetown on Wednesday.
DePaul fell 75-68 to Southern Mississippi on Wednesday in the tournament opener.
The Blue Demons will face Milwaukee on Tuesday. Wright State will play Manchester on Monday.